NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL
H E.S IS
SOUTH AFRICAN DEFENSE POLICY
Carl T. Orbann
Thesis Advisor: M. W.
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19. KEY WORDS (Continue on reverse aide II neceesary and Identity by block number)
South African Defense Policy, Total Onslaught, Total Strategy,
South African Defense Force, ARMSCOR, State Security Council,
The Twelve Point Plan, Destabilization in Southern Africa
20. ABSTRACT (Continue on reverse aide It neceaaary and Identity by block number)
The Republic of South Africa is the preeminent regional
military and economic power in southern Africa. It is also a
country that has earned near universal condemnation over the
practice of apartheid. South Africa's strength as opposed to
its neighbors' weakness and the fact that South Africa practices
internal policies which are condemned by its neighbors and the
international community, provide the basis for conflict in southern
1 JAN 73
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Africa. Further, as South African military capabilities
grow, and the ability of outside actors to influence the
actions of the Republic is lessened, a better understanding
of the defense policies of South Africa becomes even more
important to the West.
This paper examines South African defense policy as it
is today, and as it has developed historically from 1910.
Historical development of the South African Defense Force
and South African defense policies are examined in Chapter
I . Chapter II is devoted to the Total Onslaught/Total
National Strategy concept developed and instituted by Prime
Minister P.W. Botha. The Total Onslaught is important as
it provides the basis for current South African threat
assessments. Likewise, the Total National Strategy provides
the framework within which defense policies are defined.
Finally, Chapter III is devoted to an examination of
current South African defense policies. This chapter
examines South Africa's threat perceptions and constraints
placed upon South Africa, and the country's assets. Lastly,
it examines the defense strategies which have developed in
response to these factors.
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South African Defense Policy
Carl T. Orbann
Lieutenant Commander /'united States Navy
B.A., University of South Florida, 1971
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the
requirements for the degree of
MASTER OF ARTS IN NATIONAL SECURITY AFFAIRS
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL
June 19 84
*0i* v ABSTRACT
The Republic of South Africa is the preeminent regional
military and economic power in southern Africa. It is also
a country that has earned near universal condemnation over
the practice of apartheid. South Africa's strength as op-
posed to its neighbors' weakness and the fact that South
Africa practices internal policies which are condemned by its
neighbors and the international community provide the basis
for conflict in southern Africa. Further, as South African
military capabilities grow, and the ability of outside actors
to influence the actions of the Republic is lessened, a better
understanding of the defense policies of South Africa becomes
even more important to the West.
This paper examines South African defense policy as it is
today, and as it has developed historically from 1910. His-
torical development of the South African Defense Force and
South African defense policies are examined in Chapter I.
Chapter II is devoted to the Total Onslaught/Total National
Strategy concept developed and instituted by Prime Minister
P.W. Botha. The Total Onslaught is important as it provides
the basis for current South African threat assessments. Like-
wise, the Total National Strategy provides the framework
within which defense policies are defined.
Finally, Chapter III is devoted to an examination of current
South African defense policies. This chapter examines South
Africa's threat perceptions, constraints placed upon South
Africa, and the country's assets. Lastly, it examines the
defense strategies which have developed in response to
TABLE OF CONTENTS
HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN
DEFENSE FORCE AND SOUTH AFRICAN DEFENSE POLICY — 13
A. BACKGROUND: TO 1948 ■ 13
B. 1948-1960 r 17
1. Background 17
2. Defense Policy 17
3. The Changing South African Defense
4. Summary 1948-1960 ■ 21
C. 1960-1973 GROWING ISOLATION 22
1. Background 22
a. Internal Security 22
b. External Pressures 23
2. Foreign Policy 24
a. Verwoerd to 1965 24
b. Vorster 1966-1973 25
3. South African Defense Policy 1960-1973 — 27
a. Threat Perception 27
b. Response 30
(1) Background 30
(2) Defense Expenditures 31
(3) Manpower 32
(4) Arms and the Arms Industry 34
(5) Defense Reorganization 36
(6) Training 37
(7) The Security Establishment 38
(a) The Bureau of State
(b) The Establishment of the
State Security Council 40
c. The Consequences of South African
Defense Policy 1960-1973 41
II. TOTAL ONSLAUGHT/TOTAL STRATEGY 44
A. 19 73 AND AFTER: THE INWARD TURNING 44
1. Effects of the Portuguese Coup and
South African Intervention in Angola 44
2. Rhodesia 46
3. Confluence of Pressures: Other Events
1974 and After 47
a. Arab Oil Embargo 48
b. South Africa and the United Nations - 49
c. Internal Unrest 50
4. South African Foreign Policy 1974-1978 — 51
B. P.W. BOTHA: TOTAL ONSLAUGHT/TOTAL STRATEGY - 5 3
1. The Total Onslaught — Background 53
2. Total Onslaught Defined 54
C. TOTAL NATIONAL STRATEGY 56
1. Background 56
2. The Twelve-Point Plan 57
3. The Mechanics of the Total National
a. Government Reorganization 60
b. The Rise of the Security
(1) Background 61
(2) The Security Establishment 62
(a) The South African Defense
(b) The Intelligence
(c) The Intellectual
(d) Arms and Associated
(e) The South African Police -- 68
(f) The State Security
Council ■ ■ 70
c. Constitutional Change • 73
(1) Background 73
(2) The Constitution 74
(3) The New Constitution and the
Total National Strategy 75
d. Government, Business and Defense 76
e. Other Racial Groups 78
D. EFFECTS OF THE TOTAL NATIONAL STRATEGY 79
1. Internal Effects 80
a. Government 80
b. The Militarization of Society 81
(1) Impact on Government 81
(2) Economic Issues 82
(3) Social Issues 83
c. The Nature of Society ■ 85
2. Regional Effects 86
3. International Effects of the Total
National Strategy 88
III. SOUTH AFRICAN DEFENSE POLICY 93
A. THE THREAT 93
1. Background 93
• 2. The Conventional Threat 94
3. The Terrorist Threat 98
B. CONSTRAINTS 100
1. Population 101
a. The Civilian Workforce and
b. Military Manpower 102
2. Border Vulnerability 104
3. International Opposition 106
a. Lack of Defensive Alliances 107
b. The United Nations Arms Embargo
1977 ' 109
c. Resource Vulnerabilities 110
(1) Water 110
(2) Oil 111
4. Economic Constraints 112
a. Investor Confidence 113
b. Balance of Payments Concerns 114
c. The Labor Force 114
d. The Effect of Government on the
5. Perceptual Constraints 118
C. ASSETS 121
1. The South African Defense Force 121
a. The Army 121
(1) Organization ■ 121
(2) Army Equipment ■ 126
b. The South African Air Force 127
(1) Organization 127
(2) SAAF Equipment 128
c. The South African Navy 129
(1) Organization 129
(2) SAN Equipment — 130
2. The South African Arms Industry 130
a. Background 130
b. Sources of Arms 131
c. The South African Arms Industry
and Self Sufficiency 135
3. Economic Assets 137
a. Transportation Infrastructure 137
b. Strategic Resources • 138
c. Economic Strength 139
4. Population Assets 140
D. RESPONSE — SOUTH AFRICAN DEFENSE POLICY 142
1. Military Actions 142
a. Maintenance of a Strong Defense
Force ■ ■ 142
b. Offensive Warfare—Crossborder
(1) Goals of Crossborder
(2) Types of Crossborder
c. Maritime Strategy 148
2. Political Actions 149
a. Effective Mobilization of Manpower
for Defense 149
(1) Conscription 150
(2) Utilization of Non-whites 150
(3) Immigrants 152
b. The Search for Security 153
c. Destabilization 155
(1) Background 155
(2) The Destabilization Program 156
(3) The Benefits of Destabilization - 161
d. The South African Nuclear Program 162
3. Economic Actions 163
a. The Economy and the Government 164
b. The Economic Dependence of Southern
c. Self-Sufficiency in Strategic
IV. CONCLUSIONS 169
APPENDIX A: THE 12-POINT PLAN 171
APPENDIX B: MISSIONS OF THE SADF AS DEFINED IN THE
19 82 WHITE PAPER ON DEFENSE 173
APPENDIX C: MILITARY EQUIPMENT PRODUCED IN SOUTH
APPENDIX D: WEAPONS/EQUIPMENT FROM EXTERNAL SOURCES 177
INITIAL DISTRIBUTION LIST 199
LIST OF TABLES
1. South African Defense Spending 1960 to 1974 31
2. South African Defense Force Composition 33
3. South African Government Organization Executive
4. South African Defense Spending 1974/75 — 1983/84 64
5. Growth of the South African Defense Force 64
6. SADF Service Requirements 84
7. The Military Balance in Southern Africa 95
8. Population by Racial Composition 1970 and 19 80 101
9. Army Order of Battle 1979 123
I . HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN
DEFENSE FORCE AND SOUTH AFRICAN DEFENSE POLICY
A. BACKGROUND: TO 19 4 8 1
South Africa's regular defense force, the Union Defense
Force (UDF) was established by the Defense Act of 1912, two
years after the Act of Union. In developing the plans for
an effective defense force, General Jan C. Smuts, an Afrikaner
hero of the Boer War, relied on the military traditions of
both the Afrikaner and the English-speaking segments of the
country's white population. In the case of the Afrikaners,
these traditions reflected the Boer "Commandos," which
developed as a sort of frontier militia in the defense of the
early settlers, and which had grown into the military arm of
the Boer Republics. The military traditions of the English-
speaking whites derived from the colonial period^ when British
troops were garrisoned in Cape Province and Natal. The
Volunteer Ordinance of 1854 created a militia in these two
colonies which trained in accordance with British procedures
and were often affiliated with regular army regiments sta-
tioned in southern Africa.
Initially, the permanent force of the UDF consisted of
about 2500 men organized into headquarters, a training staff,
five artillery batteries, and five mounted rifle regiments.
In addition, the Active Citizens' Force (ACF) numbered
25,000 reservists serving four year tours in fifteen mounted
rifle regiments and fourteen infantry regiments. Finally,
the Defense Act provided for reserve coast artillery batter-
ies, a small flying corps, and a naval reserve. It also
reinstated the Commandos as a separate voluntary reserve
The UDF ' s first operation took place in January 1914, when
thousands of reservists were mobilized to maintain order in
Witwatersrand during a miner's strike. In World War I, the
Union government mobilized reserves for operations against
German Southwest Africa, an action which led to much Afri-
kaner opposition, the resignation of many Afrikaner officers
(some of whom organized an armed uprising against the Union) ,
and the defection of an Afrikaner UDF unit to the Germans.
It took two months for loyal forces to deal with the Afrikaner
rebellion, which pitted pro-Union and anti-British Commandos
against one another.
Once internal problems were settled, the UDF turned to
Southwest Africa, which was captured in a six month campaign
in 1915. In addition, the Union launched a recruiting drive
to raise a volunteer expeditionary force, which eventually
served the Allied cause in Egypt against pro-Ottoman Arabs,
in Palestine against the Turks, and in German East Africa
and Europe against the Germans. In addition to white combat
troops, 60,000 colored auxiliaries and 25,000 black laborers
saw service in World War I .
Between World War I and World War II, a lack of commit-
ment of funds to defense restricted the development of South
Africa's armed forces. After demobilization, reserve levels
were kept at about 15,000 men, but reduced pay scales eroded
the ranks of the regulars. The last units of the British
Army were withdrawn in 1921, although the Royal Navy retained
its bases at Simonstown and Walvis Bay. Due to the Afrikaner
uprising during World War I, it was 19 34 before ACF regiments
were formed which used Afrikans as the language of command.
In 1922, the ACF was again mobilized to deal with miners'
strikes at Witwatersrand. In addition, the armed forces
were deployed on several occasions to deal with tribal rebel-
lions in Southwest Africa, which had been mandated to South
Africa by the League of Nations.
World War II again saw a split between Afrikaners and
English-speakers over participation in the war, and a proposal
for "qualified neutrality" was narrowly defeated in Parliament
The decision to enter the war had the effect of turning
Smuts' Union Party into the party of English speakers and of
aligning the majority of Afrikaner speakers against him. It
was the issue of participation in the war with Britain which
provided the impetus which led to a National Party victory
in 1948. 2
During the war, South African troops saw service against
the Italians in Italian Somaliland, with the British Eighth
Army in Egypt and Libya, in Italy, and against the Vichy
French in the occupation of Madagascar. In addition, 3000
South African naval personnel were seconded to the Royal
Navy, and the South African air arm served with distinction
in many theaters of operations.
The defeat of General Smuts in the 19 4 8 elections brought
to an end an era in South African politics, and saw the
beginning of another, both for South Africa in general and
for the UDF in particular. Four important points must be
made about defense policy and the pre-1948 defense establish-
ment. First, other than the employment of forces in the two
World Wars, which were exceptions, the military establishment
during this period was politically insignificant and militarily
weak. At the time of South Africa's decision to enter World
War II, the UDF consisted of only 313 officers and 3040 other
ranks in the Permanent Force (PF) , 1900 in the Air Force, and
432 in the Navy, and the Defense Force had no role in Union
politics. Second, the UDF was identified as an institution
very much dominated by the English speaking portion of the
white population. Third, the precedent of the use of the
UDF by the Union government to maintain internal order in the
1914 and 1922 labor disputes and against native unrest between
the wars was established. Finally, the participation of South
Africa in wars outside of the Union and southern Africa
proved a divisive issue among South Africa's white population,
and eventually was a factor in the coalesce of Afrikaners in
the National Party, and in the ascension of that party to
power in 19 48.
1 . Background
The 1948 elections in South Africa brought to power
the coalition of the Nationalist Party (NP) and the Afrikaner
Party (later absorbed into the NP) . From this point on,
governments controlled by a growing NP majority sought to
implement the apartheid policy and ensure Afrikaner control
of the government through legislation and regulation. While
a survey of the actual implementation of apartheid is beyond
the scope of this paper, it is important to note that from
1948 onwards, South African foreign and security policies
have been explicitly and implicitly concerned with the pro-
tection of this internal policy, making South Africa a country
whose foreign relations are determined almost entirely by a
domestic political and social policy.
The ultimate foreign policy goals of the first NP
government of Dr. D. F. Malan were first discussed in his
1945 "African Charter." This document called for the preser-
vation of Africa for "Western European Christian Civiliza-
tion." It proposed to keep both Asiatics and Communists out
of Africa and to forbid the arming of "natives" and their use
in white wars.
2 . Defense Policy
As the new South African NP government worked to
improve its hold on the government and implement apartheid
internally, its leaders also sought to frame a basic strategy
for external defense. While there appeared to be a little
threat of outside attack, growing black nationalism, which
was seen as a direct result of Communist agitation and part
of a global Communist plan to weaken the West through denial
of southern Africa's strategic resources, was of much concern.
In defining its strategy, the governments of Malan,
and of his successor, J. G. Strijdon, made several strategic
assumptions. First, that South Africa would be a welcome
ally of the West due to its strategic position, economic
resources, and white, Christian, an ti- communist government.
Second, that the colonial powers would give a major role to
South Africa in African regional affairs. Third, that the
colonial powers would defend the status quo in Africa, and
that decolonization would be piecemeal, selective, and take
many years. Finally, that South Africa was a "small power"
and that the main burden of defending Africa must fall to the
Based on these assumptions, the South African govern-
ment developed a two-fold strategy. First, in the event of
war against Communism the enemy must be engaged as far from
South Africa as possible. Second, South Africa attempted to
become involved in a formal Western defense alliance to ensure
Western commitment to the defense of Africa.
In view of its strategic assumptions and the strategy
which resulted from these assumptions, South Africa undertook
policies designed to draw closer to the West. South Africa
undertook policies designed to draw closer to the West. South
Africa demonstrated its willingness to embark on anti-Communist
missions by providing small but symbolic forces to partici-
pate in the Berlin airlift and in the Korean War. Further,
South Africa applauded the development of Western defense
agreements such as the South East Asia Treaty Organization
(SEATO) , and the Australia-New Zealand-United States (ANZUS)
agreement, and continued lobbying for NATO to extend its
coverage into the South Atlantic. In addition, as early as
1951, Malan was promoting the concept of an African defense
organization to include South Africa and the colonial powers
in Africa. In 1951 South Africa joined Britain in sponsoring
a defense conference in Nairobi, and participated in another
at Dakar in 1954. However, in spite of South African state-
ments to the contrary, nothing concrete regarding strategic
planning came of either of these meetings. In the early
1950 's, South Africa also supported Britain in an attempt
to develop a Middle East Defense Organization (MEDO) . This
led to the purchase of Centurion tanks and Sabre jet air-
craft as a potential contribution to this alliance. However,
MEDO was also abandoned.
The closest South Africa came to obtaining a Western
defense commitment was the Simonstown Agreement with Britain
in 1955, whereby both the British and South African govern-
ments agreed in general terms to contribute forces for the
defense of southern Africa against external aggression. The
British naval base at Simonstown was turned over to South
Africa, and South Africa in turn made a commitment to expand
its navy to assist in the defense of the Cape sea route.
3 . The Changing South African Defense Force
This period brought two major changes to the South
African Defense Force (SADF) . First, the ascension of the
National Party to power in 19 48 brought an accompanying
"Af rikanerization" throughout the government, including both
the defense forces and the police. Government institutions,
including the SADF, were converted into apartheid institutions
to strengthen the party's hold on the state. British trained,
English speaking officers were retired early and replaced
with Afrikaners. A Defense Amendment Act required fluency
in both English and Afrikaans of all officers and non-
commissioned officers, and for all members of the Permanent
Force. These moves had the effect of decreasing the influence
of the English-speakers in the SADF, as they were less likely
to be bilingual, and, for a time, lowering, the combat effi-
ciency of the SADF as veteran officers and NCO ' s were re-
placed by less experienced Afrikaners and as units with long
traditions (normally associated with the English speaking
community) lost their historic identity.
Secondly, the Simonstown Agreement and attempts to
participate in other Western alliancs brought the SADF its
first modern equipment, albeit in small quantity. Tanks and
aircraft were acquired for participation in the stillborn
MEDO, and modern warships and long range maritime patrol
aircraft and strike aircraft to comply with the Simonstown
Agreement. While defense spending remained low, these
acquisitions were the first new major equipment acquired by
the SADF since the end of World War II.
4. Summary 19 4 8-19 60
The salient points to be made from the discussion of
this period center around South Africa's key strategic assump-
tions. First, some of the perceptions upon which the National
Party leaders based their developing foreign policy strategy
would evolve into the basis for current South African foreign
policy strategy. These perceptions were: 1) That South
Africa could be a valuable ally to the West; 2) That South
Africa's strategic location and economic importance would be
of value to the West; 3) That South Africa was an important
player in southern Africa; and, 4) That decolonization would
be selective and time consuming.
Several of these key assumptions turned out to be
false. Other than the Simonstown Agreement, which was not
a full-fledged treaty but a series of letters of agreement,
South Africa was never able to generate much Western enthu-
siasm for defense agreements. Western interests at the time
were focused on Europe, and southern Africa seemed far removed
and of small importance. Further, doubts among the colonial
powers concerning the viability of the colonial system caused
Western nations to refrain from becoming too closely associated
with South Africa, thus affording little hope of a defense
alliance and small role for South Africa in regional colonial
affairs. Finally, once decolonization did come, it came
with a rush which was unexpected not only in South Africa,
but in the rest of the world.
C. 19 60-19 73 GROWING ISOLATION
1 . Background
a. Internal Security
The first years of the 1960's caused the over-
riding concern for South Africa to become one of internal
security. This period opened with what was seen as the first
major threat of black insurrection in South Africa, brought
about by the shooting of African demonstrators by South
African police units at Sharpeville 'on 21 March 1960. The
disorders which followed lasted until mid-April and led the
government to declare a state of emergency. Eventually, more
than 11,000 people were detained.
In the wake of Sharpeville, African resistance
to white policies turned to violence. Resistance movements
such as Umkhonto we Size (Spear of the Nation) and Poqo (We
Alone) grew up as offshoots of the African National Congress
(ANC) and Pan-African Congress (PAC) . From August 1961 to
July 19 63, 19 3 acts of sabotage were recorded in South
TV 4= • 18
For its part, by 1963 the South African govern-
ment had penetrated and destroyed much of the underground
resistance. In its efforts in this direction, the South
African Police (SAP) were aided by a series of harsh security
laws passed beginning in 1961. During this period, spanning
from 1961 to the passage of the Terrorism Act of 19 67, South
Africa moved away from the protection of individual rights
guaranteed under British law to regulations under which the
powers of the State were greatly increased. By 1964 incidents
of sabotage dropped from 100 a year to 10, and by 19 65 inter-
nal resistance had disappeared. All the while, the South
African government denied the country ' s internal troubles
were related to the racial policies of apartheid, instead
claiming incidents like Sharpeville were initiated by "sub-
versive, communist and liberal elements outside South Africa."
b. External Pressures
The rush of decolonization in the early 1960's
led to the establishment of black ruled states throughout
Africa, and the sheer number of these states gave them con-
siderable diplomatic weight at the United Nations. Change
for South Africa was signalled beginning in 1961, when these
new countries joined with India, Pakistan, and Ceylon to
give South Africa little choice but to withdraw from the
British Commonwealth. This marked the first step in the
isolation and inward turning of South Africa.
In 1963, a new source of danger for South Africa
came into being with the formation of the Organization of
African Unity (OAU) . At its first meeting, this organization
resolved to provide arms and assistance to launch guerrilla
wars against colonial and white minority governments in
Africa. Although this threatened action turned out to be
easier said than done, formation and rise of the African bloc
in the United Nations, coupled with the liberal wave which
swept the West in the 1960's led to trouble for South Africa
in the UN. In 19 60, the United States supported a Security
Council resolution against apartheid. In 1963, Britain voted
for a General Assembly resolution favoring anti-apartheid
actions by member states, and the next year the United Nations
passed a voluntary arms embargo against the Republic.
2 . Foreign Policy
a. Verwoerd to 1965
As regional and international hostility to its
domestic policies intensified, South Africa's leaders were
forced to search for new strategies to cope with and, if
possible, reverse their country's growing isolation. In
1959, Prime Minister Verwoerd embarked on the policy of
separate development, providing Bantu homelands for blacks
which were ultimately to become independent states. South
Africa saw the Bantustan policy as a bridge between internal
and external affairs, as "the first link in a chain which
started in the Republic, led through the small neighboring
black states, and then outward to the rest of the continent
and the wider international community." While this was a
domestic policy, it obviously was influenced by foreign
opinion. Verwoerd saw the Bantustan policy as a counter to
both African and international opposition to South Africa's
, . . 25
Regionally, South Africa's focus narrowed to its
immediate neighbors. Verwoerd sought unsuccessfully to draw
the British territories of Basutoland, Bechuanaland, and
Swaziland into the. homelands plan. He also formulated plans
for a Southern African Common Market to include South Africa,
future independent homelands, and other countries as far
north as Zaire. In putting forward the Common Market scheme,
the South African government assumed economic considerations
would become more important than political ones in relations
with black African countries, and emphasized South African
willingness to provide direct, bilateral aid to these
b. Vorster, 1966-1973
By the time B. J. Vorster succeeded Verwoerd as
Prime Minister in 1966, the troubles of the early 1960 's had
been overcome. Verwoerd 's politics of security had resulted
in the banning of domestic subversives (such as the ANC and
PAC) , suppression of internal violence, and, most importantly,
restoration of white confidence. The internal stability
achieved within the country soon gave Vorster maneuvering room
to expand upon what had been a cautious policy towards black
African nations. The "Outward Movement" was launched in
hopes of improving South Africa's foreign relations overall
through a rapprochement within Africa. The Outward Movement
was, from South Africa's viewpoint, essentially an externally
oriented policy. Importantly, this policy implicitly denied
that any domestic change was required.
The Outward Movement enjoyed some initial suc-
cess in 1967, when South Africa established diplomatic ties
with Malawi. In addition, South Africa was finally able to
make good on long-standing offers of aid to black nations.
In retrospect, however, it is apparent this policy could
never have achieved the success hoped for by Vorster. Con-
tacts were made and economic relations encouraged with many
African states, but the fact that most of these states based
their relations with South Africa on the condition that there
would be change in the Republic's internal policies did not
mesh with the South African perception that Outward Movement
policies were independent of domestic linkages. In addition,
there are some indications that Vorster himself may have
lacked sustained interest in the Outward Movement.
By the early 1970 's strong black opposition to any
rapprochement with South Africa, as expressed in the Lusaka
Manifesto of April 1969 and the Mogadishu Declaration of
October 19 71, made it apparent to South Africa that the
Outward Movement had failed. The Portuguese Coup of
April 19 74 and the ensuing South African intervention in
Angola effectively marked an end to the Outward Movement as
a policy, although South Africa still attempted rapprochement
with individual black states such as Mozambique in 1975.
In addition, Vorster continued to pressure the Smith regime
in Rhodesia to come to a negotiated settlement, both to gain
possible influence among other African nations and to try and
prevent the establishment of another black radical state on
the Republic's borders. However," in spite of these indi-
vidual diplomatic efforts, 1975 marked the beginning of a
new phase in South African foreign policy. South Africa was
not slow to recognize the potential consequences of a Portu-
guese withdrawal from its African holdings, and from this
point on, the Republic concentrated on consolidating its
position in southern Africa.
3 . South African Defense Policy 1960-1973
a. Threat Perception
The period 1960-1973 was one of rapid change in
South African defense thought, beginning with the Sharpeville
disturbances and threats of internal revolution and ending
with increased white confidence and new feelings of military
and economic strength. In short, this era bridges what have
been described as the "Years of Crisis and Doubt" and the
"Years of Confidence." It was during the years 1960-1964
that critical events occurred and judgments were made which
affected South African defense policy until the mid-1970 's.
The events of the early 1960's caused South Africa's defense
policy to evolve from one which, in 1960, envisioned a response
to the threat of internal unrest to one which, by 1964,
sought a broader response to both internal unrest and ex-
ternal attack. This external threat was vaguely defined at
first but was eventually identified as mainly a terrorist
or guerrilla threat.
The evolution of policy can be seen in the actions
of the South African government in the years between 19 61
and 1964. In 1961 Defense Minister J. J. Fouche gave three
general reasons for rises in defense spending and buildup
in the SADF: (1) to preserve internal security; (2) to
have something to offer when South Africa wanted to enter
military alliances with other countries, and; (3) to meet
threats of external invasion. This general statement encom-
passed both recognition of the internal and the external
threat, but it became apparent from the government's subse-
quent actions that much of the defense legislation introduced
during early 1961 was aimed at strengthening internal security.
By 19 62, however, the external threat was more
clearly outlined during South African House of Assembly debates.
By now, the threat was seen to encompass three broad areas
of danger: (1) An attack by black states with Communist
assistance. This was considered by Verwoerd the most dan-
gerous possibility; (2) A major East-West conflict with South
Africa involved on the West side. This was later dismissed
as the likelihood of such a conflict diminished; (3) A
combined international action against South Africa on the
pretext of "enforcing international law."
While at this time it was not clear what shape
the threat from black states would take, it soon became
apparent that these states could not match the rising
strength of the SADF, and the possibility of conventional
attack began to seem more remote. By 1973, the majority of
Defense Force training was aimed at counterinsurgency
Once the threat had been determined to be mainly
an unconventional one, it became clear to Pretoria that it
was one which could be handled. In 1971, this basic threat
perception was further refined by P. W. Botha, who had
assumed the Defense portfolio in 196 5. He made the final
link between the guerrilla threat and the global one, reason-
ing that, due to the nuclear stalemate between the superpowers,
the Communists had been forced to change tactics in their
quest for global domination. The first phase of this new
"onslaught" had been to create internal unrest, and this had
been the cause of South Africa's internal difficulties in the
early 1960 's. Botha further identified the threat as "...a
total indirect strategy which is directed at us, and if and
when it has achieved sufficient success, the final conven-
tional confrontation will take place."
Botha's statements in 19 71 are an important
precursor of the Total Onslaught/Total Strategy concept
which he would bring to the Prime Minister's office.
By the time of the upheavals of the mid-19 70 's
in southern Africa, South African defense objectives were
fairly well defined: (1) to implement relations with
Western or pro-Western countries and prevent total isolation;
(2) to protect frontiers by maintaining close relations with
Rhodesia and the Portuguese in Angola and Mozambique; (3) to
continue attempts to gain a military alliance with NATO or
the United States to counter Communist influence in the
South Atlantic, Indian Ocean, or southern Africa,
(1) Background . With the increasing perception
of threat that grew within the South African government in
the early 1960's, there arose in the government a determina-
tion to meet the growing threat. When action was taken in
1961 to enlarge the Permanent Force and the Active Citizens'
Force, even the opposition in Parliament supported the move.
The Permanent Force grew from 9,000 in 1960 to 15,000 in 1964,
and National Servicemen under training increased from 2,000
to nearly 20,000 during the same time period. By 1970, the
total number of men in uniform, including Commandos and the
South African Police (SAP) had grown to 130,000, and the
annual intake of conscripts had reached 26,000 men.
For its part, the government defended its
increasing expenditures and military buildup in terms of the
rising threat, both internal and external. Verwoerd compared
the military preparations to taking out an insurance policy--
saying a man does not expect to be injured, but covers
himself for the unexpected.
(2) Defense Expenditures . Until 1960 the SADF
had played only a minor role in South African planning,
and its budget during this time reflected its lack of signi-
ficance. Defense spending had totaled less than 7% of the
government budget and less than 1% of the Gross National
Produce (GNP) . 41
In the early 1960's defense costs rose
rapidly in total, as a percentage of government spending,
and as a percentage of GNP (see Table 1) . In defending
the size of the increase in defense spending in the 1962
budget, the Minister of Finance called the entire national
budget a "budget of national security," adding, "...defense
is its dominant theme and its ultimate justification."
South African Defense Spending 1960 to 1974
Financial Defense Budget percent of percent of percent increase
Year (million current R) Budget GNP over previous year
After the initial large increases, the
middle part of the 1960 's saw a leveling off in defense
spending. From 1964 to 1973, the defense budget averaged
285 million current Rand a year. This leveling off was
probably due to several causes: (1) the terrorist threat
seemed not to have increased, and there was the beginning
of the shift in perception to the "years of confidence:"
(2) the Minister of Defense was under pressure to reduce
spending in line with changing threat perception, and; (3) the
concern of South African economists caused by the burden of
defense spending as a total share of government spending due .
to its inflationary tendency in an overheating economy, and
due to its draw off of badly needed skilled technicians.
In spite of these limits on the defense
budget, defense spending increased ten fold during this
period, and at times approached 20 percent of all government
spending. Had not the South African economy been in a period
of rapid expansion, with a GNP increase of 140 percent be-
tween 1960 and 1970, it is unlikely this rapid growth in the
defense sector could have been achieved without damaging
economic strain and a decline in the white standard of
, . . 45
(3) Manpower . Throughout the period 1960-1973,
the availability of manpower became and remained a critical
limitation on the expansion of the SADF . The Defense Force
was not only limited by being forced to draw almost exclusively
on the nation's four million whites, but was also forced
to compete with the rapidly expanding private sector, which
also relied heavily on whites to fill technical and skilled
• K 46
In order to fill the manpower requirements
of the expanding Defense Force, several steps were taken.
In 1967, in order to better compete with the private sector,
salaries in the SADF were increased 11 to 50 percent and
technical training opportunities were increased. More
importantly, in 196 8 the lottery, or selective system of
conscription was abolished and all physically able white males
were required to enter the National Service, which served
under the Permanent Force component for training. National
Service personnel were trained while serving on active
duty, and became available for later call up in a reserve
status in either Citizens' Force or Commando units (see
Table 2) .
South African Defense Force Composition
Branch of Permanent National
Service Force Servicemen
Citizens ' Force Commandos
(regular reserve) (militia
Another solution to the manpower shortage
which was discussed was the large scale recruitment of non-
whites. In 1963, the Cape Coloured Corps, which had been
disbanded after World War II, was reestablished with white
officers and coloured NCOs . The mission of the Cape Coloured
Corps was to fulfill non-combat roles. In 19 73, the Cape
Corps Service Battalion was formed to train coloured volun-
teers at a rate of 200 a year, and plans were announced to
form an Indian Service Battalion.
More problematic for the government was the
arming of blacks. In 1972, when the issue was raised in
Parliament, Defense Minister Botha stated that while blacks
served the SADF as civilians, it would be wrong to create a
black military corps. Action in this direction remained
some years away.
(4) Arms and the Arms Industry . Through the
1950s, the SADF was dependent upon Britain for much of its
material. Under the implicit division of defense responsi-
bility which existed between Britain and South Africa, South
Africa developed such defense industries as were required to
supplement equipment procured from the United Kingdom. Thus,
South African industry produced significant amounts of mortars,
light to medium field artillery, armored cars, communications
equipment, and ammunition, fuzes and bombs. Major hardware
purchases were keyed to "allied" requirements, such as the
antisubmarine warfare frigates acquired within the context
of the 1955 Simonstown Agreement. For the most part, prior
to 1960 the SADF's equipment featured outdated and obsolete
British and American aircraft, tanks, and armored cars.
Beginning in 1960, the rising pressure of new
African states at the United Nations for an arms embargo
against South Africa grew stronger each year, and the con-
cern over this pressure prompted Pretoria to take steps
towards ensuring its source of arms was secure. In spite of
the fact that the UN passed an arms embargo in 1963, South
Africa had little difficulty in obtaining the arms it needed
during this period, as only the United States and Britain
made any realistic effort to restrain the flow of military
goods, and in their cases, only on clearly military end
products, such as guns, tanks, and combat aircraft. Britain
was rapidly replaced as South Africa's major arms supplier
by France and Italy.
South Africa's determination to modernize
and ensure the availability of arms, outlined in the 1960
General Staff review was rapidly carried forward. To
promote local production and self-sufficiency, the Defense
Production Board was established in 1964, and the Defense
Council in 19 66. The Board procured locally manufactured
arms while the Council was responsible for guiding and finan-
cing weapons research. A further important step was taken
in May 196 8, when an Act of Parliament established the Armament
Development and Production Corporation (ARMSCOR) , which was
funded with the equivalent of $144 million to "meet as effec-
tively and economically as feasible South Africa's armament
requirements..." by initiating research and development
for domestic defense production. Later this came to include
By 1965, South Africa had acquired 127
licenses for the manufacture and assembly of foreign military
equipment ranging from French and Belgium small arms to
French armored cars and French and Italian aircraft. How-
ever, in spite of these acquisitions, the key to assessing
the South African motive for expanding its domestic arms
production capability is to note that each step in arms
industry development was a result of Western actions to limit
arms supplies. Decisive for South Africa were the trade-offs
between the desire for Western links and the fear of being
cut off from arms supplies on one hand, and between the most
economic source and the most reliable source on the other.
The SADF during this period opted for economy and Western
defense ties until it became apparent that Western arms
sources were no longer reliable.
(5) Defense Reorganization . As the Defense
Force grew between the years 1960-1973, it became necessary
to reconsider South Africa's command and control practices.
In September 1972, the Minister of Defense replaced the
Supreme Command, which had functioned as advisor to the Head
of the Defense Force, with a Defense Staff Council, headed
by the Commandant General and made up of the General Officer
Commanding Joint Combat Forces, Commander Maritime Defense
and Chief of the Navy, Chief of Defense Staff, Chief of Air
Force, Chief of Defense Force Administration, the Comptroller
of the SADF, and the Surgeon General.
In addition, the operational command was
also reconfigured. Two commands were charged individually
with ground and naval defense, incorporating of all three SADF
branches in operations either on land or at sea. In 1969,
ground forces were further reorganized to better support the
South African Police in opposing insurgency and terrorism.
Army territorial divisions were rearranged to conform to
police administrative divisions. Each region was placed
under the command of a Permanent Force colonel, and was
responsible for the coordination of Army reserve and civil
defense actions. The army, through the Commando units, was
made responsible for providing the SAP with operational
support for counterinsurgency efforts. Commando units
were expected to "ensure the immediate and continuous pro-
tection of their own home regions" at all times.
(6) Training . As the size of the SADF increased,
training facilities to handle the growing numbers of service-
men were strained. In response, specialized schools were
established for each branch, such as the Commando Training
Center, the Army College, and the Air Force College in
order to standardize training and economize efforts. The
Permanent Force began to emphasize unconventional warfare
techniques while conducting training. Commandos were
trained in reconnaissance and unconventional warfare and
were in some cases formed into specialized groups, such as
Industrial or Urban Commando units.
The largest training difficulty encountered
was related to the manpower shortage. The Permanent Force
had been responsible for training National Service inductees,
but the Permanent Force represented the smallest part of
the armed services and suffered, in addition, from chronic
shortages of career personnel. The SADF was forced to
supplement Permanent Force instructors with National Service-
men, who were trained specifically to be instructors, and
who served in that capacity for their entire service, even
though this detracted from the number of troops actually
available for operational duty.
( 7) The Security Establishment .
(a) The Bureau of State Security. As the
escalating internal strife of the early 1960s brought new
and more repressive laws to South Africa, it also brought
the recognition that an improvement was needed in the
government's security system. Discussions at the time be-
tween the Minister of Justice Vorster and the Commissioner
of Police led to the appointment of General Hendrik van den
Bergh as head of the Security Police to reorganize the
country s security set-up.
Van den Bergh had been a close confi-
dent and advisor to Vorster since their internment together
during World War II. From the Security Police, he fashioned
a covert organization in the early 1960s which became known
as the Republican Intelligence. The function of this organi-
zation was to gather information both at home and abroad,
engage in espionage as required, and strengthen the hand of
^K I. 65
In 1969, the still clandestine Republi-
can Intelligence grew into a new department of state, known
as the Bureau of State Security (BOSS) . While BOSS was in-
tended as a government agency to supplement the military
intelligence and the Security Police, it soon became
apparent that van den Bergh, as a close associate and con-
fidant of now Prime Minister Vorster, wielded much informal
power. Van den Bergh became Vorster' s crisis manager, and
BOSS became the clearing house for information gathered by
the other intelligence services.
The system for control and implementation
of security operations which the South African government
employed, and which BOSS exemplified, reflected a lack of
coordination and lack of accountability which eventually
brought Vorster, van den Bergh, and others into disrepute.
However, in 19 72 an alternative apparatus for security deci-
sion making was established which would later grow in impor-
tance. This was the State Security Council (SSC) , 68
(b) The Establishment of the State Security
Council. In 1970, partially in response to charges of BOSS
involvement in the monitoring of the Parliamentary opposi-
tion, the Potgeiter Commission was ordered to investigate
certain intelligence aspects of state security. As a result
of recommendations made by this commission in 1972, the
State Security Council was established by law, with biparti-
san political support.
The membership of the SSC was to con-
sist of the Prime Minister, who would act as chairman, the
Senior Minister of the Republic, the Minister of Defense,
the Minister of Police, other Ministers as required, the
Secretary for Security Intelligence, the Commandant-General
of the SADF, the Secretary for Foreign Affairs, the Secre-
tary for Justice, the Commissioner of the South African
Police, and other heads of Departments as required.
The Act which established the SSC also
gave it a number of important sounding functions, such as
formation of National Policy and Strategy, and responsi-
bility for the execution of that strategy. In practice,
however, the SSC had little impact during its early years.
It was only one of twenty cabinet committees to which Vorster
paid little attention. The SSC met only occasionally, its
agenda was not circulated, and no minutes were kept. The
growth in the importance of the SSC would come later, under
Vorster's successor, P. W. Botha.
c. The Consequences of South African Defense
During the period between Sharpeville in 1960
and the eve of the Portuguese collapse in 1974, South Africa
underwent many changes. Internally, non-white opposition
was suppressed by means of draconian security laws, and
new organizations such as BOSS grew up to further combat
internal and external threats. More important, however,
was the growth of the defense establishment in South Africa.
During this time the SADF grew from a militia-type organiza-
tion with little influence in the domestic government to
a force which made South Africa the preeminent regional power,
with important internal and external effects.
Externally, the implications were clear. As
South Africa's military power grew and the domestic arms
industry provided a larger portion of the SADF's hardware
requirements, the Republic's ability to withstand political
pressures brought to bear by the United States and other
Western nations grew. This marked the beginning of a poten-
tial divergence in the interests and policies of South Africa
on one hand and of the West on the other. While South Africa
would continue to unsuccessfully seek alliances committing
the West to the Republic's defense, once South African
officials had identified the threat as being mainly internal
unrest and externally supported guerrilla war, and decided
that threat could be controlled with domestic resources, the
need for an outside alliance was lessened. As a consequence,
the ability of the West to influence South Africa's internal
and external policies was also lessened.
South Africa's growing military might also had
implications for the region. South Africa first deployed
forces outside its borders in September 1967 against ANC
elements involved in operations with the Zimbabwe United
People's Union (ZAPU) in Rhodesia along the Zambezi River.
In 1968, Minister of Defense P. W. Botha warned Zambia
publicly that acting as a base for guerrillas could provoke
South African response against military targets (such as
those employed by the Israelis against the PLO) . This was
the first time that South Africa made clear that the defense
of its borders recognized no frontiers. By 1969, the number
of South African paramilitary police in Rhodesia reached
In 19 70, at the height of the Outward Movement,
Prime Minister Vorster offered black states a non-aggression
pact, saying South Africa's intentions were purely defensive
The move was indeed defensive, for if countries such as
Zambia would agree, then guerrillas would lose their bases
and training facilities. However, this offer was reinforced
by more sinister definitions of South Africa's "defensive"
options. The Republic's actions in Rhodesia and Botha's
threats of Israeli-style reprisal raids were an implicit
part of South Africa's defensive strategy, as was the state-
ment of Vorster to Parliament in 1970, when he said that if
guerrillas invaded South Africa from other countries, "...we
shall resist them. If they take to flight we shall chase
them and we shall do so right into those countries from which
II. TOTAL ONSLAUGHT/TOTAL STRATEGY
A. 19 7 3 AND AFTER: THE INWARD TURNING
1 . Effects of the Portuguese Coup and South African
Intervention in Angola
On 25 April 19 74, the Armed Forces Movement in Portu-
gal overthrew the government of that country, and installed
in its place the revolutionary government of General Antonio
de Spinola. In May 19 74, less than one month after the
coup, Portuguese leaders began conferring with independence
leaders from Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, and Angola, and on
25 July 19 74, General Spinola officially recognized the right
of Portugal's overseas possessions to total independence.
Although the guerrilla wars in the Portuguese colonies
had been in progress for some time, South Africa was not
prepared for the rapid collapse of what had been a vast,
white-controlled northern buffer zone which had separated
the Republic from independent black Africa. Pretoria was
especially concerned by the establishment of self-proclaimed
Marxist states on its borders , providing sanctuary for anti-
South African movements and access to Namibia, where fighting
against the South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO)
had been in progress since 19 66, Rhodesia, and South
The South African response to the independence of
Angola and Mozambique was different in each case. On the
one hand, Mozambique was heavily dependent economically on
South Africa, therefore when that country gained independence
in June 19 75, South Africa quickly moved to renew economic
ties. Prime Minister Vorster saw a free Mozambique as of
little threat and even declined to support a short-lived
takeover attempt by unhappy whites .
Angola, on the other hand, was a different situation
for Vorster. South Africa had little economic leverage
there, and growing strife among the three nationalist
groups seemed to indicate the risk of spill-over of violence
into South West Africa. There was also the concern that a
radical government in Luanda would actively support SWAPO.
As fighting intensified in Angola among the former guerrilla
groups, South Africa resisted the impulse to intervene
directly until October 19 75. Then, between October and
December 19 75, the SADF undertook three ground operations
in Angola. The objectives of these operations, which were
conducted without significant mechanized or air support
were unclear, but the result was a catastrophe for South
Africa for several reasons: x (1) the intervention may have
resulted in bringing a large Communist (Cuban) presence
onto the border of Southwest Africa in response to South
African involvement (although it seems likely the Cuban
build-up was at least planned prior to South African involve-
ment) ; (2) potential Angolan leaders such as Savimbi were
discredited through association with South Africa while
the most radical elements of the MPLA, the group which came
to power, were strengthened; (3) hostility by Angola towards
South Africa was assured, so there was little hope of a
Mozambique-like rapprochement with Angola; and (4) lack of
international support for the South African intervention made
it clear to South Africa that it could not count on the West
to come to its aid even in time of crisis.
2 . Rhodesia
From the time of the Portuguese collapse in 1974,
Prime Minister Vorster was faced with the prospect of rising
violence and increased South African involvement in Rhodesia.
From Pretoria's standpoint, the least desirable occurrence
in Rhodesia would have been a Communist inspired, black-led
take over. Internationalization of the war in Rhodesia would
have presented South Africa with the possible need for in-
erased intervention, and left the Republic open to a possible
upswing in black urban violence and worsening relations with
Angola and Mozambique. It is not surprising, therefore,
that South Africa supported a negotiated settlement leading
to a moderate black government in Rhodesia as opposed to
further racial strife. In spite of the fact that Vorster
had a domestic political tightrope to walk over the question
of support for Rhodesia, it was clear by 19 75 that South
Africa was supporting a negotiated settlement and pressuring
the regime of Ian Smith to go to the bargaining table.
Once the Geneva Conference on Rhodesia had broken
down in 19 77 , South Africa backed Smith's attempts at inter-
nal settlement. The government of P. W. Botha, which suc-
ceeded Vorster's, provided financial, military and logistic
aid to the Muzorewa regime which came to power as a result
of the Rhodesian internal settlement. During this period,
two SADF battalions operated in southern Zimbabwe-Rhodesia.
However, a lack of international support and growing diplo-
matic pressures brought all parties back to the conference
table in 1979, and in March 1980, as a result of British
observed elections, Robert Mugabe, leader of the Zimbabwe
African National Union (ZANU) was elected to head a new
If the Portuguese withdrawal was South Africa's major
shock of the mid-1970s, Mugabe's victory was the disappoint-
ment of 19 80. South Africa had supported Muzorewa in the
election, but would have preferred even the election of
guerrilla leader Joshua Nkomo to the Mugabe victory. Appre-
hension over Mugabe's assumption of power in Zimbabwe led
P. W. Botha to issue a familiar warning to the new government
in that country: "Any neighbor which allows its territory
to be used for attacks on or the undermining of South
Africa and its security will have to face the full force of
the Republic's strength."
3. Confluence of Pressures: Other Events 19 74 and After
Although the Portuguese withdrawal and the failure
of the Angolan intervention was a major turning point for
South Africa's foreign relations, other events which occurred
after 1974 internationally and regionally heightened South
Africa's feeling of isolation,
a. Arab Oil Embargo
While the oil embargo called for by the OAU was
initiated by oil producing states late in 19 73, it had no
real effect on South Africa until 19 78, due to the non-
observance of the embargo by Iran. Iran and South Africa
had maintained friendly relations since World War II, when
Iran's exiled Reza Shah Pahlavi resided in South Africa.
After the 19 73 embargo was imposed, Iran continued to meet
90% of South Africa's oil requirements until 1978, when
Iranian internal difficulties halted these supplies.
The effects of the embargo were also ameliorated
by the fact that South Africa depended upon oil for less than
25% of its energy needs. The balance was met by hydro-
electric power, coal, and gas. After the loss of Iranian
supplies, the Republic was still able to satisfy its needs
through purchases on the spot market.
The real effect of the embargo was to reveal to
South Africa the vulnerability of its economy to interrup-
tion of energy supplies. The oil which was imported was
critical to communications, defense, and to the chemical
and fertilizer industries. In addition, less obvious but
at least as important, the oil embargo had the potential
effect of weakening Western opposition to further sanctions
against South Africa, for Western nations were now forced
to take into account both the Afro-Arab alliance against
South Africa and their own vulnerabilities to oil sanctions.
b. South Africa and the United Nations
Pressures on South Africa in the United Nations
dated back to the 1960 's. In 1961, the General Assembly
called for states to take "separate and collective action"
against South Africa. In August 1963, a resolution was
passed calling for a voluntary arms embargo against South
Africa, and a coordinated effort by black countries also
resulted in South Africa being forced out of the Food and
Agricultural Organization (FAO) in 1963, and from the
International Labor Organization (ILO) and the World Health
Organization (WHO) in 1964.
United Nations pressure also grew against South
Africa's continued occupation of Southwest Africa. In
1973, the General Assembly recognized SWAPO as the "authen-
tic representative of the Namibian people," and appointed
a UN Commissioner for Namibia. During 19 74, the UN enacted
a decree prohibiting exploitation of the resources of
Namibia without UN approval. Finally, on 17 December 19 74,
the Security Council unanimously passed a resolution demand-
ing that South Africa withdraw from the territory.
In 1974, after a number of attempts, the UN was
finally able to reject the credentials of the South African
delegation to the General Assembly, although a further attempt
to remove South Africa from the United Nations altogether,
sponsored by the OAU members, was vetoed by France, Great
Britain, and the United States. Since 1974, South Africa
has maintained its delegation to the UN, but its ambassador
has not taken his seat in the General Assembly except when
the Namibia question was under debate.
Further important action by the United Nations
against South Africa occurred in November 1977, when a
resolution banning arms sales to the Republic, previously
vetoed in 1975, 1976, and October 1977, was supported by
the Western powers. This unprecedented ban by the UN
against a member country was not only intended to cut South
Africa off from its traditional sources of arms supplies,
but also to send Pretoria a message that its domestic poli-
cies were unacceptable. The unintended message which was
also conveyed was that South Africa was marked for further
international isolation, and the Republic became more deter-
mined to carry on alone.
c. Internal Unrest
In June 1976, South Africa was struck by racial
disturbances which surpassed those which followed Sharpeville
in 1960 in violence and intensity. The issue which touched
off the trouble was the continued use of Afrikans for instruc-
tion in black high schools, but the violence which ensued
revealed the extent of suppressed discontent among non-
whites. By the time the protests had subsided in November
19 76, the disorders had spread to almost every non-white
township and university in the country.
The response of the government to these internal
disorders was to conduct a massive security campaign, enlarg-
ing SAP and other police reserves, further tightening security
laws, and conducting a wave of arrests, detentions, and
bannings . In spite of the fact that the unrest was even-
tually suppressed, the so-called Soweto period of turmoil
had major implications for South Africa. First, coming on
the heels of the abortive Angolan venture, the internal dis-
turbances were a further shock to the white population.
Second, the violence of the demonstrations and the repression
with which they were met reminded the world of the inequitable
nature of apartheid and the sense of black frustration which
the system had led to. Finally, and most importantly, the
blacks who fled the country during and after the riots
became the new guerrilla fighters of the PAC and ANC. These
organizations, in turn, became increasingly militant. It
was after Soweto that armed guerrilla incidents inside South
Africa began to increase. For its part, the SAP explicitly
linked Soweto and the rise in urban terrorism, and used these
incidents to win public support for new counterinsurgency
4 . South African Foreign Policy 1974-1978
Realization of the implications of the Portuguese
coup brought a new phase to Vorster's Outward Movement. This
phase came to be known as detente. The essence of this policy
was that South Africa should assert leadership in southern
Africa and win the cooperation of black African states in
providing regional stability and preventing the spread of
radicalism. Detente, in practice, proved to be short
lived. It effectively ended with South Africa's interven-
tion in Angola and with the collapse of the South African-
. . 96
Zambian initiative in Rhodesia. Further, President Nyerere
of Tanzania had already undermined any chance of detente
with the Dar es Salaam declaration, signed by sixteen nations
in April 19 75. While this statement did not reject South
African involvement in the settlement of the Rhodesian prob-
lem, it did rule out any concessions towards South Africa
itself. It further stated that black Africa must be prepared
for armed struggle if a peaceful transition to majority rule
failed in South Africa.
The remainder of Vorster's administration was
spent mainly on the defensive. As 19 76 brought a new wave
of internal unrest, which in turn led to new government
repressions, new waves of black South Africans entered ANC
camps in neighboring countries. In 1977, the U.S. Carter
administration came to office, and brought with it new ten-
sions to South Africa's relations with the West. The death
in September 1977 of Black Consciousness leader Steve Biko
while in detention in South Africa, followed by new crackdowns
on political organizations, individuals, and newspapers by
Vorster, cost South Africa's foreign relations heavily,
and led directly to the 19 77 UN arms embargo against the
ul . 98
In September 1978, Vorster was forced to resign
due to a scandal within his government. He was succeeded
by P. W. Botha, his Minister of Defense.
B. P. W. BOTHA: TOTAL ONSLAUGHT/TOTAL STRATEGY 99
1 . The Total Onslaught—Background
Upon his assumption of power in 19 78, P. W. Botha
found South Africa faced with distinctly hostile internal
and external positions. Internally, the aftermath of the
racial unrest of 1976 was still being felt. In addition,
the white population was still reeling under the impact of
revelations of scandal in the upper ranks of both the govern-
ment and the National Party. Externally, the country's
position had become increasingly less secure with the loss
of the Portuguese buffer and the escalating conflict in
Rhodesia. In addition, the rising level of violence along
the Namibia-Angola border led to increasing pressure from
the United Nations and concurrent loss of South African con-
fidence in the other parties involved in that dispute.
Finally, the Republic's relations with the West had deteri-
orated to new lows due to the impasse over Namibia, the
pressures in the UN, and the failure of Western support
during the Angolan affair.
It is not surprising, considering the pressures felt
by South Africa, that the government would believe the coun-
try was faced with a "total onslaught" of internal and external
attack aimed at the overthrow of the existing order. Botha
realized revolution in South Africa was possible, and he
was the first to acknowledge this fact publicly. He also
realized that revolutions fail when met by an effective
counter-revolutionary strategy which eliminates or diffuses
those forces threatening the existing order. Botha was
determined to mobilize the society to implement such a strategy.
2 . Total Onslaught Defined
As can be seen from previous discussion, South Africa
has for some time seen itself as the target of external
threats. Since 1945, the country has perceived a Communist
inspired threat to its security. As the perception of
threat grew through the internal unrest of the 19 60s and the
increasing pressures of the 1970s, the onslaught was still
perceived as Communist inspired, but the threat was no longer
seen as confined to Communist sources.
General Magnus Malan , Defense Minister and former
head of the SADF saw the onslaught as being directed against
the whole Western World, of which South Africa is a part.
He defined the onslaught as
...an ideologically motivated struggle .. .the aim
(of which) is the implacable and unconditional
imposition of the aggressor's will on the target
state. The aim is also therefore total, not only
in terms of the ideology, but also as regards the
political, social, economic, and technical areas.^ 4
In the onslaught, South Africa was seen as a key due to its
strategic location, mineral wealth, strong economy, and
highly developed infrastructure.
The threats against South Africa posed by the total
onslaught were seen to be many. The conventional military
threat was believed by Prime Minister Botha to be limited,
as the SADF ' s strength would exact too heavy a toll on an
enemy. Therefore, the military threat was mainly an indirect
one of Communist backing for terrorists and guerrillas. This
threat perception was similar to that developed by Botha in
the early 1960s and refined in 1971. This did not,
however, mean that the threat of conventional war could be
discounted. General Malan has stated that while "it is pri-
marily an unconventional war, . . .the threat of a conventional
i n fi
war in the near future can by no means be excluded."
In addition to the threat of military action against
the Republic, the onslaught also envisioned anti-South African
actions in the political, diplomatic, religious, psychologi-
cal, cultural, social, and sports spheres. In General
Malan' s view, the onslaught is directed at South Africa's
four "power bases:" (1) the political/diplomatic; (2) the
economic; (3) the social/psychological; and, (4) the security.
While the Communists were still seen as the main
force behind the total onslaught, they were not seen as the
only one. The OAU, the UN, and other groupings of black
states figured in the onslaught. Also considered was the
threat posed by South Africa's neighbors due to the harboring
of terrorists and the build up of Soviet supplied conventional
arms in Angola, Mozambique, and Zambia.
As the West pressured South Africa for internal re-
forms, Western nations also came to be seen as an indirect
part of the onslaught. In General Malan's words, in order
to protect their interests in black Africa, "it can be...
justifiably claimed that the Western Powers make themselves
available as handymen of the communists and they are indirectly
contributing to the destruction of capitalism and the estab-
lishment of world communism."
There are two important points to be taken from this
distillation of South Africa's multifaceted threat into the
"Total Onslaught." First, the threat appraisal ignores the
possibility that South Africa's internal policies could be a
cause of the country's internal tensions, instead rationaliz-
ing the cause for internal unrest as the external onslaught.
This is consistent with South African appraisal of domestic
problems since the 19 60 Sharpeville disturbances. Secondly,
and what is more important for South Africa's policies, is
that the concept of "Total Onslaught" can be used to justify
the implementation of the "Total National Strategy."
C. TOTAL NATIONAL STRATEGY
1 . Background
The concept of the Total Onslaught assumed more
importance and was further defined as P. W. Botha came to
office, for it was a concept which had grown from the strate-
gic thinking of the defense establishment and the SADF. In
the 1977 Defense White Paper, the Total National Strategy was
defined as "the comprehensive plan to utilize all the means
available to a state according to an integrated pattern in
order to achieve the national aims within the framework of
the specific policies. A Total National Strategy is not,
therefore, confined to a particular sphere, but is applicable
to all levels and to all functions of the state structure."
Just as Botha defined the onslaught, he also devised the
counter-revolutionary strategy to meet it. In May 1979,
Botha, while holding high level meetings to devise his
strategy, said that "a country which is facing a total on-
slaught has to have a total strategy to combat it..." and
"...it was essential that South Africa's strategy should be
a total one in which military, political, and economic
factors could all play a part."
2 . The Twelve-Point Plan
Throughout the first half of 19 79, Botha and his
main spokesman, General Malan, continued to expand upon the
total conflict and the need for a strategy to combat the
threats it posed. In June, Malan called for cohesion of
population groups to face the communist conventional, uncon-
ventional, and psychological threats. In July, P. W.
Botha raised the "Total Conflict" issue with regard to South
Africa's position in Namibia.
By August, 19 79, Botha was ready to unveil his new
strategy. Speaking at the Natal National Party Congress,
he outlined what has come to be known as the 12-point plan.
This plan as it was stated and fine-tuned over the following
months, was an attempt to define policy objectives for the
government over a wide range of interests. Botha presented
the plan as one to which the government was totally committed,
and as the only hope for salvation in the face of the Total
Onslaught. (See Appendix A for the specific points of the
The first six points of the plan dealt with what were
mainly domestic political matters. In short, these six
stated the ideological foundation of the plan, making it
clear that the plan is a restatement of National Party policy,
committing South Africa to separate development. The seventh
point recognizes the economic integration between the races
which had already occurred, and can be seen as a government
move to remove ideology from economic activity.
The eighth point declares what had already become a
major foreign policy initiative of the Botha regime: the
creation of a "peaceful constellation of states in southern
Africa." The formation of this constellation was seen as
inevitable as conditions, especially economic conditions,
but also political and security considerations, drew the
states of the region into closer relationships. In short,
the constellation was a South African attempt to detach
pressures concerning its internal policies from its external
relations, and to draw its neighbors closer through mainly
The ninth, tenth, and eleventh points deal with South
Africa's defense policies. The ninth states South Africa's
determination to defend itself from all outside interference
in all ways. The tenth calls for a policy of neutrality in
the East-West conflict. The eleventh concerns the "maintenance
of effective decision making by the state, which rests on a
strong Defense Force and Police Force to guarantee orderly
1 l fi
government as well as efficient, clear administration."
This point reflects Botha's style of governing and his up-
coming reorganization, and the increasing role of the military
in South Africa's government.
Point twelve commits the South African government to
the maintenance of free enterprise as the economic basis of
the country. This point reflects Botha's attempt to draw
the economic sector into his plans for both the constellation
and internal change, and thus relates to points seven and
3 . The Mechanics of the Total National Strategy
As can be seen from the diverse areas covered in the
12-point plan, it is obvious that the Total National Strategy
would have far reaching consequences. Plans and policies
devised under the heading of Total National Strategy (TNS)
affected all of South Africa through the reorganization of
the government, through more repressive controls on the
population, and through the increasing importance of the
security establishment and the military,
a. Government Reorganization
In 19 78, disclosure of the now famous information
scandal showed that government under Vorster was at worst cor-
rupt and at best administratively sloppy, and led to Vorsters '
downfall. His successor, P. W. Botha, announced adminis-
trative reforms in government beginning in 19 79, but it took
several years for his initiatives to be fully implemented.
This reorganization would serve to tighten up the slack prac-
tices of Vorster' s government, however, they were not con-
ducted solely to correct past mistakes. There were other
perceived shortcomings to be corrected. First, South
Africa's involvement in the Angolan civil war in 19 75 had
revealed the need for a more formalized method of government
decision making. In order to correct these shortcomings
and to provide a better decision making process, the security
management system was established.
Second, Botha's concern for the internal and ex-
ternal security of South Africa led to the development of the
Total National Strategy in order to make better use of South
Africa's resources in meeting the Total Onslaught. Third,
Botha's definition of a Total National Strategy gave government
a sense of direction which had previously been lacking.
Finally, the scandal which had brought down Vorster 's
government left the country with the feeling that change in
government was needed. Botha was able to capitalize on this
feeling to institute his programs.
In Phase I of Botha's government reorganization,
known as the rationalization program, the number of cabinet
committees was reduced from 22 to five> including National
Security (the SSC), Economic Affairs, Social Affairs, Internal
Affairs, and Finance. This number was later reduced by one
when the Committee for Finance was merged with the Committee
for Economic Affairs. In addition, the Committee for Inter-
nal Affairs was renamed the Committee for Constitutional
Affairs. Table 3 reflects the South African government
organization as it is today.
While all four cabinet committees are theoretically
equal, several factors combine to set the State Security
Council (SSC) off as the dominant committee. The SSC will
be discussed in greater detail below.
b. The Rise of the Security Establishment
(1) Background . Botha's government reorgani-
zation in the name of the Total National Strategy has had
the effect of centralizing power in the Cabinet, and, even
further, into a few departments informally called the inner
Cabinet at the expense of Parliament and the National Party.
As power has become centralized in the executive under Botha,
and previously important institutions such as BOSS (now
the National intelligence Service — NIS) and the Information
SOUTH AFRICAN GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATION
PRIME MINISTER -
SECRETARY OF THE CABINET
CABINET COMMITTEE CABINET COMMITTEE CABINET COMMITTEE STATE SECURITY
FOR ECONOMIC FOR SOCIAL FOR CONSTITUTIONAL COUNCIL
AFFAIRS — Ministers AFFAIRS — Ministers AFFAIRS — Ministers Established
Deputy Ministers Deputy Ministers Deputy Ministers and Constituted
Department Heads Department Heads Department Heads in terms of
Act 64 of 1972
Working Group Working Group Working Group Working Group
Department Heads Department Heads Department Heads Department Heads
tal Task Groups;
tal Task Groups;
Task Groups; co-
operation at the
tal Task Groups;
Department were downgraded, reorganized, or dismantled. The
security establishment gained influence at the expense of
other bodies .
(2) The Security Establishment .
(a) The South African Defense Force/
Department of Defense. P. W. Botha came to power from the
defense establishment, where he had served for 14 years as
Minister of Defense and had presided over the enlargement of
the SADF and buildup of the defense industry. During his
tenure as Minister of Defense, he came to admire the managerial
style of the military, and upon becoming Prime Minister,
he brought with him high ranking SADF personnel as advisors.
The Permanent Force officers in govern-
ment became involved in the construction and execution of
overall defense strategy, especially with regard to Namibia.
In addition, these officers also became involved with other
governmental, political, and economic elites in agencies
such as the SSC.
As previously discussed, the buildup
of the SADF and the arms industry in South Africa began in
response to the threats of the early 1960s. The events of
the mid-19 70s acted as the catalyst for even larger increases
in both the size of the SADF and in defense spending. After
1974, defense spending continued to increase at a rapid
pace (see Table 4) .
What was even more significant about
the rise in defense spending was the fact that it took place
during a period of general economic slowdown. By 19 83/84,
spending on defense had tripled over the 19 75/76 budget.
During this period, the SADF also in-
creased in size and changed in composition. As Table 5 shows,
the size of the Defense Force almost doubled btween 1974/75
and 19 83/84. As this growth began to strain available white
manpower assets, first women and then non-whites were
accepted in increasing numbers. Within the expansion of
the SADF was included an attempt to increase the size of the
SOUTH AFRICAN DEFENSE SPENDING
1974/75 to 1983/84
*Revised downward due to the cancellation of R128 million
shipbuilding contract by France.
GROWTH OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN DEFENSE FORCE
(numbers in '000)
74/75 75/76 76/77 77/78 78/79 79/80 80/81 81/82 82/83 83/484
Permanent Force, as the numbers of regulars in the army
increased from 7000 whites in 1974/75 to 15,400 of all races
in 19 83/84. Conscription policies also changed during this
period to fuel the SADF's rising manpower demands.
(b) The Intelligence Community. The
influence of this community has been marked by continual
flux. It is made up of the Department of Military Intelli-
gence (DMI) , the National Intelligence Service (NIS) , and
the Security Police.
The South African intelligence apparatus
had long been the arena for intense inter-service rivalry.
When BOSS was established in the 1960 's, its head, General
van den Bergh, had Prime Minister Vorster's confidence,
and was appointed Security Advisor to the Prime Minister in
1968. When this happened, DMI suspected that BOSS intended
to assume some of the duties assigned to military intelli-
gence. This led to an intense rivalry between BOSS and DMI,
and clashes between van den Bergh and Minister of Defense
Botha. However, van den Bergh fell from power with Vorster,
and Botha chose to consolidate central intelligence functions
under DMI .
To date there is still rivalry between
all three security services. BOSS has evolved through a
name change to Department of National Security (DONS) to
become NIS and now functions mostly as an intelligence think
tank rather than as a gatherer of intelligence. DMI seems
to have assumed the function of external intelligence
gathering, with policy advice coming from SADF personnel.
The position of the Security Police was also enhanced with
the demise of BOSS/DONS/NIS , and the former head of the
Security Police is now Commissioner of Police.
(c) The Intellectual Community. This
group consists of the segments of South African society
which serve the defense establishment on an ad hoc basis.
There are centers of strategic studies at Rand Afrikaans
University, the University of Pretoria, and the University
of South Africa. There are also independent bodies such
as the Terrorism Research Center in Capetown, and individual
academics on call to the government.
(d) Arms and Associated Industries. The
leading defense related industries are the large parastatal
corporations, such as the Armament Corporation of South
Africa (ARMSCOR) and the State Petroleum firm (SASOL) .
ARMSCOR is South Africa's largest industrial venture with
1.2 billion Rand in assets. As a result of ARMSCOR' s
actions, South Africa is now the tenth largest producer of
armaments in the world. ARMSCOR directly employs 29,00
workers and provides employment for nearly 100,000 through
its subsidiaries and private subcontractors. Its subsidiaries
and their products include:
1. Atlas Aircraft Corporation — aircraft manufacture,
maintenance, and service.
2. INFOPLAN--computer services.
3. Kent ron- -guide weapons and optical equipment.
4. Lyttleton Engineering Works--small arms and guns.
5. Mus grave Manufactures and Distributors — commercial
small arms and shotguns .
6. Naschem, Lenz , and Potchef stran—heavy ammunition
and bombs .
7. Pretoria Metal Pressing--small calibre ammunition.
8. Swartklip Products — pyrotechnics, detonators, mines,
hand grenades and commercial ammunition.
Through these subsidiaries and
their subcontractors ARMS COR has ties with every area of the
country and with every industry. In addition, since his
tenure as Minister of Defense, P. W. Botha utilized leading
industrialists as advisors and to head ARMSCOR and its sub-
sidiaries. He has continued this practice as Prime Minister.
For example, in 1980, the ARMSCOR Board of Directors included
as members the Executive Director of Barlow Rand, South
Africa's largest corporation, the South African Resident
Representative to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) ,
and the Chief General Manager of the Industrial Development
Corporation of South Africa, just to note a few.
ARMSCOR also reaches into the
country's educational system by providing scholarships and
apprentice training to students and workers in various
*■ n^ 126
Other parastatals, such as ISCOR.
and SASOL have defense and security links through planning
bodies, sales to security forces and other state depart-
ments. Finally, the Total National Strategy ties the
businss community in general to the government by the inclu-
sion of economic factors in the 12-point plan. The Defense
Advisory Board, whose members are business elites, provides
further links between business, defense, and the government.
(e) The South African Police (SAP) . 127
The South African Police developed from the variety of
security forces established over the years in response to
different conditions and perceived threats. After the Act
of Union in 1910, the police forces of the provinces of South
Africa were consolidated into two law enforcement agencies.
These were the South African Mounted Riflemen, detailed to
rural areas, and the SAP, responsible for urban areas. The
SAP subsequently absorbed the Mounted Riflemen and, in 19 36,
were given jurisdiction throughout the country. In 1939,
SAP responsibilities were extended to include Southwest
Africa, and later amendments to the Police Act permitted
the SAP to be employed outside the country when requested
by friendly governments, and when these operations were
deemed to be in the best interest of South Africa's internal
security. In the 1960 's and 1970 's SAP units were involved
in counterinsurgency operations in Rhodesia and Portuguese
As it exists today, the SAP is a
paramilitary organization, the primary function of which is
the maintenance of internal security. SAP operates under
the authority of the Minister of Police and is administered
by the Commissioner of Police, who holds the rank of general.
In 1983, the South African budget allowed 546 million
Rand for the SAP, and increase of 17.1% over the previous
year s expenditures.
In 19 83, the SAP had a strength
of 35,500, of which 19,500 were white and 16,000 were non-
white. In addition, the Police Reserve consisted of about
20,000 men who had received paramilitary training, and an
amendment to the Defense Act allowed military reservists
and Commandos to be mobilized on short notice to assist the
SAP in emergencies.
Organizationally, the SAP is
divided into three branches. (1) The Uniformed Branch
is mainly concerned with routine police work and crime
prevention, as well as with clerical duties, overall SAP
administration, and supply and maintenance of police equip-
ment and transport. (2) The Detective Branch operates
from SAP headquarters and is subdivided into the Criminal
Investigation Division, which is reponsible for the assign-
ment of plainclothesmen, and the Special Branch, which is
responsible for police intelligence gathering, surveillance,
and investigation of subversive activities. (3) Finally,
the Security Branch is responsible for border patrol and
internal security activities in South Africa and Namibia
which are not otherwise assigned to the SADF. All Security
branch units are self-sufficient in weapons, transport,
communications, and logistic support. These units have
operated in Namibia with the SADF.
The SAP conducts its own train-
ing and recruiting. Personnel are enlisted on a voluntary
basis from throughout South Africa. Most white police are
Afrikaners, while most blacks are from rural areas. Since
the passage of the Group Areas Act in 1950, non-white police
personnel have been made responsible for duties in non-white
areas . Black police were normally brought in from different
parts of South Africa to avoid any sympathy for the local
population. Whites enlisting in the SAP are exempted from
National Service with the SADF. A women's contingent was
established in 1972.
(f) The State Security Council.
Many of the organizations discussed above are brought to-
gether by the State Security Council (SSC) . While tech-
nically the SSC is only one of four cabinet committees which
are formally equal, there is little doubt that the SSC is
the principal of these committees.
Several features set the SSC
off from the other cabinet committees. (1) The SSC
is the only cabinet committee established by law, and
which consists of a membership established by law. (2) The
SSC is the only cabinet committee chaired by the Prime
Minister. (3) The SSC concerns itself with a greater range
of issues than any of the other committees. (4) The SSC's
network of supporting bodies is more comprehensive than
those of other committees. (5) The SSC's meetings are closed
to the participation of non-members, who may only attend
if specifically invited or co-opted. (6) The SSC is exempt
from the rule that decisions of cabinet committees must be
circulated with cabinet minutes. SSC decisions are not
subject to confirmation by the full cabinet.
Even if the membership and scope of
the SSC did not give it a preeminent status, it would still
assume enhanced importance due to its size, organization,
and resources. The secretary of the SSC, Lieutenant General
Andries Jacobus van Deventer, has a secretariat which is
much larger than those employed by the other cabinet com-
mittees. The Secretariat of the SSC (SSSC) consists of
three branches: National Intelligence Interpretation,
Total Strategy, and another, the name of which is classified.
While technically the SSC reports administratively to the
NIS, it is directly responsible to the Prime Minister.
In addition, General van Deventer
possesses a large amount of bureaucratic influence. Besides
serving as Secretariat of the SSC, he also sits as a member
of the working groups of the other three cabinet committees
(see Table 3) , and is also involved in the distribution and
channeling of all policy papers destined for cabinet con-
siderations due to the fact that he also holds the position
of cabinet secretariat jointly with John H. Huyser, a retired
Also subordinate to the SSC working
committee are some 15 interdepartmental committees (IDC's)
which are the originators of nearly all policy recommenda-
tions. The IDC's cover a wide range, including the Political
Action Committee, the Coordinating Economic Committee, the
Manpower Committee, and the Transport Coordinating Committee,
to name just a few. IDC membership consists mainly of heads
of departments, senior deputies, legal advisors, and an
SADF representative on each committee who reports directly
to van Deventer.
Finally, the SSC network includes a
series of Joint Management Centers (known as GBS for the
Afrikaans GESAMENTLIKE BESTUURSSENTRUMS) . There are nine
GBS which serve geographical areas of South Africa and which
coincide with the area commands of the SADF, and there is
a tenth for Walvis Bay. There are also four GBS ' s for
certain southern African countries, including Namibia. All
are based within South Africa and all are designed to carry
the Total National Strategy throughout the country in an
It is apparent that the SSC has become
the preeminent governing body within the South African
government. All questions with security implications are
brought to it, and through the Total Onslaught/Total National
Strategy concept almost every aspect of government can be
interpreted as having security implications. In addition,
through its influence over the cabinet secretariat and its
membership, the SSC can influence many of the decisions
of the other cabinet committees. Not only is the SSC the
principal cabinet committee, it also serves as an inner
cabinet of the Prime Minister and his highest ranking experts.
When the SSC recommends policy, the full cabinet is not
likely to deny that policy.
c. Constitutional Change
(1) Background . Recently, talk of reorganizing
the government by constitutional change has been much dis-
cussed by the elite of the National Party. As the expression
of Western European political liberalism, the Westminister
system made it difficult to maintain government secrecy, and
was not in consonance with the harsher security measures
taken after 1960. The National Party had been considering a
constitutional alternative more in keeping with the visions
of a plural society.
In 1976, the Theron Commission, which had
been investigating Coloured matters since 19 73, suggested
that the Westminister system of government be reconsidered.
This report led to the appointment of a cabinet committee
chaired by P. W. Botha, then Minister of Defense, to consider
whether a new political formula could be found. Botha's
proposals in 19 77 included power sharing between white,
coloured, and Asian peoples, and were later approved by
provincial congresses of the National Party and submitted
to Parliament as a draft bill in 19 79. This draft bill
was in turn submitted to the Schlebusch Commission.
The 19 80 report of the Schlenbusch Com-
mission led to the appointment of a President's Council to
draft a new constitution. This President's Council in-
cluded white, coloured, and Asian representatives, but
excluded blacks. The President's Council submitted its
recommendations in May 19 82.
(2) The Constitution . P. W. Botha slightly
modified the recommendations of the President's Council in
forming his constitutional plan. This plan envisioned a new
structure of government in South Africa, laid out as follows:
1. A President as executive head of state, combining
the former offices of State President and Prime
Minister, to be elected by an electoral college.
2. An electoral college of 50 white, 25 coloured, and
13 Asian members appointed by their respective chambers
3. A tricameral Parliament for the three population
groups, white, coloured, and Asian, each to determine
policy on matters affecting its own group.
4. A cabinet appointed by the President, to include
members of all three racial groups.
5. A President's Council of 20 whites, 10 coloured, and
5 Asians, elected by their representative chambers,
and 25 members appointed by the President, to act as
final arbiter in disputes.
The new constitution was approved on 2
November 19 83 by a 66% majority of white voters. No referen-
dum was held for coloured or Asian voters, and blacks were
excluded from participation.
( 3) The New Constitution and the Total National
Strategy . Viewed in the context of Botha's Total National
Strategy, the new constitution has several potential goals.
First, including population groups other than whites has
the effect of co-opting those groups and weakening their
support for potential opposition movements. It also has
the potential to garner international support due to indica-
tions of reform. Second, and perhaps most importantly, the
system embodied in the new Constitution was very adaptable
to the strong leader, thus completing the movement towards
the consolidation of power in the executive begun by Botha
in his reorganization of the cabinet. It seems apparent
that the SSC would assume even greater importance in acting
as the de facto secretariat of the President, while other
cabinet committees and even the Parliament became less
important. Finally, as an additional strength, inclusion
of Asians and coloureds in the government would probably
make members of those groups liable for the same compulsory
military service to which whites are subjected.
d. Government, Business, and Defense
The Total National Strategy was intended to be
concerned with more than the reorganization of government
in order to better meet the onslaught against South Africa.
In an analysis of the Total National Strategy as a counter-
revolutionary strategy, Philip Frankel of the University of
Witwatersrand recognized the role of the private sector in
the TNS , saying the TNS is "sociologically deeper than
government reorganization. . .and actually involves reforming
the elite coalition." This reformation includes an
alliance between business, government, and the military on
one hand, and the inclusion of racial groups other than
whites in government on the other. This was discussed in
point seven of the 12-point plan, which recognized the role
and importance of non-whites in the economy and condoned
official moves towards the de-idealization of the economic
Business was seen to act as a source of mana-
gerial skills and capital in support of the Total National
Strategy. The Botha style of government as reflected in
his reorganizations since becoming Prime Minister resembled
the style of a corporate president, and he included
important business leaders in the governmental decision
making processes (see the discussion of ARMSCOR, above) .
In addition, Botha also saw private capital as a source of
funds for rural and urban development. In rural areas,
capital was to be employed through actions of large corpora-
tions or through government sponsored institutions designed
to stimulate regional trade cooperation. In urban areas,
the government looked to organizations such as the Urban
Foundation to absorb some of the costs of apartheid.
The response of business to this proposed role
in the Total National Strategy was generally favorable. In
the past, the enforcement of apartheid rules led to govern-
ment intervention in the economic sector, curbing private
ventures and constraining productivity. The 12-Point
Plan's emphasis on the free market and its moves towards the
deregulation of the economy was encouraging to South African
businessmen. In addition, the eighth point of the 12-Point
Plan called for a "Constellation of States in southern
Africa, which included the promise of work towards closer
economic ties between the Republic and neighboring states,
and it was expected South African businessmen would assume
the lead in cementing these relationships."
Finally, there was also the desire of the govern-
ment to link the private sector and the Defense Force,
especially in the field of arms development and production.
As previously discussed, a Defense Advisory Board composed
of South African business elites was established to further
involve the private sector in defense activities. The fact
that ARMSCOR made maximum use of the private sector further
indicates the growing links between business and defense.
The defense establishment looked to private industry for
the manufacture of 70% of all of the country's domestic
arms production, while defense in turn provides leadership,
research and development, and access to a small but growing
e. Other Racial Groups
The 12-Point Plan in the area of relations between
the races adheres to the tenets of separate development,
but with a difference. Points one through three reconfirm
the commitment of South Africa to apartheid. Point four
assigns some political power in the newly reorganized govern-
ment to coloured and Asian peoples. In addition, adminis-
trative exemptions in the Group Areas Act now allow Asians
and coloureds the right to house black servants, and Asians
and coloureds to receive general preference over blacks in
the expenditure of government money. In these and other
matters, it is apparently the intention of the government
to blur the racial boundary between coloureds, Asians, and
whites while widening the inequalities between these groups
and blacks. This can be seen as an attempt to pull two
ambiguously situated groups into the white camp, thereby
denying their support to the black majority.
Under the Total National Strategy concept, blacks
are dealt with in a two- fold strategy. First, rural blacks
are handled by the homeland policy, the goal of which is to
create a system of semi-independent, semi-autonomous states
dominated by South Africa. Political development in these
states is carefully monitored to ensure that these states
remain dependent on and under the control of South Africa.
Second, urban blacks receive a new deal which
allows them some local political power, limited rights of
citizenship and property holding, and the promise of partici-
pation in the constellation of states. Moves to accommo-
date urban blacks have resulted in new reform measures and
greater responsiveness to the needs of this group. However,
when considered in the light of the Total National Strategy,
it seems that these moves are intended to further split
opposition to white dominance by separating rural and urban
blacks. Just as the "political dispensation" accorded to
Asians and coloureds is intended to split these groups from
blacks, giving urban blacks a stake in the system is intended
to separate them from rural blacks. As Frankel states,
"...Total Strategy is also devoted to realizing the old
liberal belief that the existence of a 'stable' black middle
class committed to the ideals of free enterprise capitalism
is an important ingredient in the maintenance of the system. "
D. EFFECTS OF THE TOTAL NATIONAL STRATEGY
The Total National Strategy, as discussed above, has had
major impacts on the internal organization and operation of
the South African government, on South African society, and
on the Republic's relations with other countries.
1 . Internal Effects
As noted above, the impact of the Total National
Strategy on the government has been profound. Internally,
Botha's reorganization of the cabinet and his elevation of
the importance of the SSC has tended to short-circuit the
influence of the full cabinet and increase the power of
the Prime Minister over the policy making and implementation
apparatus. In addition, his streamlining of the cabinet has
provided for a more administratively sound system. As a
result of this accretion of influence to the SSC, the real
control of power has slipped away from the elected members
of Parliament and other departments of government.
The new constitution, approved in November 19 83
and now in the process of being implemented, also had a
major impact on how the Republic is governed. For one
thing, for the first time non-whites will be included as
elected representatives in the South African government,
although how much real power and influence the coloured and
Asian chambers will possess is still questionable. Further,
and more importantly, the new constitution supports the
centralization of power begun by the reorganization of the
government. The new system provides for a strong executive
president. It is further assumed that in serving as the
secretariat to the presidential system, the SSC will gain
even more in importance at the expense of the other cabinet
committees and the Parliament.
b. The Militarization of Society
There is no doubt that the influence and impact
of the SADF in South African government has been rising as
the Defense Force becomes more important to the defense of
white South Africa. This increasing influence and its
actual extent has been much discussed, and it is important
to note where it has affected South African society itself.
(1) Impact on Government . The Total National
Strategy is mainly a creation of P. W. Botha, developed and
fine-tuned during his days as Minister of Defense, and
implemented through the military as a solution to the "total
war" being conducted in Namibia. As Minister of Defense,
Botha was influenced by military management efficiency and
planning, and when he became Prime Minister, it was natural
that he bring with him to government the administrators
whose skills he admired, and whom he had promoted in the
SADF. For example, General Magnus Malan was appointed by
Botha as the youngest ever Chief of Staff of the Army,
Chief of the Army, Chief of the SADF, and finally Minister
of Defense. Malan has often served as Botha's communi-
cator, stumping the country to keep the Total Onslaught/
Total National Strategy before the population.
The military influence has also increased
with the rise of the SSC. All military and security matters
are concerns of the SSC, and the SADF is involved in all
decisions on these matters through the SSC. Further, the
secretary of the SSC, Lieutenant General van Deventer, is a
military man, and the staff of the secretariat draws heavily
on the SADF for 70% of its personnel. In addition, van
Deventer also serves as the secretary to the cabinet and
as such has much influence over what issues are dealt with
by which cabinet committees. Finally, SADF representatives
sit on all fifteen interdepartmental committees of the SSC.
No other ministry can claim inclusion on more than four of
(2) Economic Issues . The relation between
defense, government, and industry has already been discussed,
and the fact that the Total National Strategy requires a
healthy economy and infusions of private money to succeed
domestically already recognized. However, there are other
security issues which have an economic impact.
First, great effort and resources have been
expended to make South Africa self-sufficient in areas which
are deemed of strategic importance. This includes the South
African nuclear program, the oil-f rom-coal program and the
efforts of the defense industry. These programs have often
had negative economic impacts, as economy and sophistication
are sacrificed for local content in the name of self-reliance
and national security.
Secondly, and even more important to the
discussion of the militarization of society, is the cooptation
of many industries through government security planning,
including legislation such as the National Key Points Act
of 19 80, the Atomic Energy Act, the National Supplies Pro-
curement Act, and the Petroleum Products Amendment Act.
These acts involve private industry, including subsidiaries
of foreign transnational firms, in secrecy about their
operations. They also provide for the militarization of
employees through the establishment of "industrial commandos"
4-V, ' 4- 4. ' 151
for their protection.
(3) Social Issues . The permeation of military
influence through ARMSCOR and the armament industry, and
through the involvement of industry in security matters has
already been noted. However, there are other, more profound
ways in which the military influences South African society.
First, as more demands for manpower are
made upon white society by the SADF, more men and women
are exposed to military training of some kind. In addition,
the demands of the Defense Force on society are growing,
as the amount of time spent in uniform by the average white
male increases. In 19 73, this average white male could expect
to spend 9 to 12 months on active duty and then another 7 8
days on three call-ups during a nine-year reserve commit-
ment. In 19 83, the average time spent in uniform for the
same person had increased to two years on active duty,
followed by a reserve commitment of alternate 30 and 90
day callups for twelve years, for a total of 720 days in
service (see Table 6) .
SADF Service Requirements
1973 1974 1978 1983
Initial National Service
Requirements (Months) 9-12* 12 24 24
Active Reserve Duty
Period (Years) 9* 5 8 12
Number of Callups 3* 5 8 12**
Standard Callup Period
(Days) 26* 19 30 60
Total Active Reserve
Duty (Days) 78 95 240 720
Duty Period (Years) 4
Figures are for those National Servicemen who joined the Citizen's
Force. Those who joined the Commandos were obligated to spend 30-90
days on active duty for the first year and then 19 days a year for
the next 15 years for a total of 285 days.
Upon completion of 12 years in reserve, National Servicemen are
then transferred to the Commandos where they are eligible to be
called up for 12 days a year to age 55.
Second, the need for manpower has led to
the utilization of men of other races and of white women in
the Defense Force on a voluntary basis. Further, it can be
expected that now that coloureds and Asians have been in-
cluded in the government and given a limited franchise,
pressure to include them in mandatory conscription schemes
will increase. Both Asians and coloureds have maintained
they will not serve in the SADF on other than a voluntary
basis until blacks are included in the government.
Finally, military influence even reaches
into the country's educational system. In 1977, the number
of "school cadets" receiving military training at school
was doubled to 300,000, and a year later the decision was
made to conduct cadet training on school holidays and to
make attendance obligatory at cadet "adventure camps."
In October 19 82, it was announced that the Defense Force
would establish military units at colleges of education and
As the above discussion illustrates, the
military influence and military service follows the white
male South African from his early school years right up to
retirement, and his obligation to the military system has
grown significantly in the past ten years,
c. The Nature of Society
Frankel has argued that the Total National
Strategy is bringing about fundamental changes in the make-
up of South African society. Including some areas already
discussed, these changes are:
1. Reforming the elite coalition through the inclusion of
coloureds and Asians and through the strengthening
of the government-military-business alliance.
2. A "new deal" for urban blacks in an attempt to create
a black middle class interested in maintaining the
system as it exists.
3. The rise in non-partisan civilian and military
specialists to positions of political decision
making, weakening the traditional power of the
2 . Regional Effects
The main regional thrust of the Total National
Strategy was centered in points eight and nine of the
twelve-point plan. Point eight calls for a constellation
of southern African states "with respect for each other's
cultures, traditions, and ideals...," while point nine
addresses "South Africa's firm determination to defend
itself against interference in every possible way."
The constellation concept predated the Twelve Point
Plan by some time. P. W. Botha made it a major foreign
policy initiative upon succeeding Vorster in 1978. The
basis of the concept and objectives of the constellation
as it was developed were based on a set of critical assump-
1. A constellation would offer the opportunity to find
regional solutions to regional problems.
2. The "moderate" countries of southern Africa all face
a common Marxist threat and cannot rely on the West
3. The Marxist threat would lead to military cooperation.
4. Mutual interest in trade, agriculture, health, trans-
portation, and so forth would act to bring southern
African nations together. This cooperation in turn
would yield positive political results for South Africa
5. The constellation would include South Africa's
neighbors and the newly independent homelands.
6. The constellation would be based on the political
realities of South African society. In other words,
international cooperation among states would not in-
volve South Africa's internal commitment to apartheid.
Through the constellation initiative, Botha hoped
to rely on economic forces and mutual security needs to
pull southern Africa together. This cooperation would, in
turn, lead to positive political gains in the international
arena for South Africa. This was a strategy which can be
traced back to the time of Verwoerd, when South Africa
canvassed Africa for technical cooperation and a live and
let live attitude from others, and has so far met with
just as little success in its current form. No black state
is likely to associate with the non-recognized homelands,
or compromise itself with regards to the OAU ' s stand against
separate development. When nine countries of southern
Africa formed the Southern African Development Coordination
Council (SADCC) to promote independence, it appeared that
the constellation concept had failed. As Dr. Geldenhuys
recently stated, the Republic "has not succeeded in creating
exactly the kind of regional environment it desired. "
In light of the failure to gain regional support for
the southern African constellation in a form resembling the
original concept, the other regional impact of the Total
National Strategy to be considered is the military impact.
The military aspect of the Total National Strategy has had
the greatest effect on South Africa's neighbors. South
Africa's proclivity to intervene in the affairs of other
countries in the interest of its own national security pre-
dates the Total National Strategy. Yet the growing strength
of the SADF, the growing influence of the military in South
African government decision making, the centralization of
power under Botha, and the failure of the constellation
initiative are all events which have coincided with a growing
use of South African military might in support of political
objectives. As Dr. Geldenhuys states, "the grandiose scheme
for a regional constellation of states has given way to an
j- '^u ■*. ..160
overriding concern with security.
3 . International Effects of the Total National Strategy
In defining the Total National Strategy, P. W. Botha
pointed out that there are five strategic options open to
l fi 1
South African interests:
1. Alignment with the West, which has been the option
traditionally selected by South Africa.
2. Qualified neutrality.
3. Alignment with the East.
4. Alliance with middle-ranked powers with similar
political philosophies (the so-called "pariah" option).
5. Concentration on regional relations.
From the thrust of the Twelve-Point Plan, it seems
that South Africa considers these five options as not
mutually exclusive. In his analysis of the Total National
Strategy, Geldenhuys points out that in fact only the
first option has been totally rejected, although it seems
unlikely that little of value could come of the third.
Point ten of the Twelve-Point Plan calls for, "a
policy of neutrality in the conflict between the superpowers,
1 c 2
with priority given to South African interests." Yet,
South African movement away from the West predates the Total
National Strategy. Suggestions that the Republic assume
a more neutral stance between East and West were very much a
product of the mid-19 70' s. South African disenchantment
with the West grew as Western criticism of South Africa's
domestic policies increased. In 1977, this pressure cul-
minated in the UN mandatory arms embargo. Prior to the arms
embargo, however, P. W. Botha had already raised the possi-
bility of a more neutral stance for South Africa. After the
arms embargo was enacted, South Africa informed the West
that responsibility for the protection of the Cape sea route
would no longer be South Africa's. Significantly, it was
once again P. W. Botha who made the announcement, saying,
"no arms, no service." Therefore, it is not unexpected
that the neutral option was given new prominence when Botha
became Prime Minister. There is also an apparent relationship
between the neutral option and the constellation, as South
Africa attempts to focus on regional issues. In March 19 79,
Foreign Minister R. F. Botha stated "our sole commitment ought
to be towards the security and advancement of our own
southern African region. Southern Africa could steer a new
course of its own midway between East and West."
While talk of the increased emphasis on neutrality
and regional considerations has increased, the effect of the
invocation of this theme in the international forum has been
slight. As Geldenhuys points out in his analysis, most non-
aligned states enjoy a measure of acceptance from both East
and West. South African non-alignment would be a new varia-
tion on the non-alignment theme: "based not on its accepta-
bility. . .but instead on its unacceptability . "
The fourth strategic option, alliance with other
middle ranked powers, has some international benefits for
South Africa. Between 19 76 and 19 80, South Africa exchanged
visits with both Israel and Taiwan, and signed a variety
of. agreements for cooperation with these nations. While
the possibility or usefulness of mutual defense arrangements
between these countries appears slim, South Africa has gained
useful economic, technical and military benefits from these
Another facet of the fourth option does not involve
the other so-called "pariah" states, but is the culmination
of what has been a major strand in South African strategic
thought dating back to the 19 50's: the idea of a treaty
organization covering the southern Atlantic Ocean. As dis-
cussed earlier, it was this concept which involved South
Africa in the Simonstown Agreement in 1955, and which led to
the first purchases of modern warships for the South African
Navy. Since then, South Africa has continued to work to
make itself an attractive defense partner, stressing the
importance of the Cape sea route, and building naval facili-
ties far in excess of its own needs in hope of attracting
an alliance with a Western nation.
Failure to attract a Western partner probably caused
South Africa to look elsewhere for security arrangements.
It has been reported that in the early 19 70 's South Africa
entered into a secret pact with Israel, Taiwan, Argentina,
1 ft fi
Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay. Whether or not this
arrangement ever existed, the talk of it is significant in
that it indicates that South Africa is moving away from the
West in its search for security.
In addition, as South African power and confidence
in its expanding military might grew, the Republic began to
look more towards itself for not only self-protection, but
for regional protection. In a radio commentary entitled, "A
"I (-> 7
Monroe Doctrine for Southern Africa," parallels were drawn
between the role of the United States in the Americans and
South Africa in southern Africa. "As the most advanced and
powerful state in the region, South Africa as a special
responsibility towards it, as the United States has long had
towards its own continent."
In summary, then, it is apparent that through the
Total National Strategy, P. W. Botha has brought together
several strands of South African strategic thought. These
are a movement away from the West, the quest for alliances
among other middle power nations, and an expanding military
role for South Africa in the southern African region.
Internationally, the effect is probably seen as a very limited
increase in diplomatic flexibility for South Africa through
ties to other countries, and a further decrease in Western
influence as South Africa downplays (but not eliminates)
attempts to gain a western alliance and becomes militarily
more powerful and regionally more dominant. Most importantly
for Western interests, this redefinition of South African
strategy indicates a growing divergence between Western and
South African interests in southern Africa.
Ill . SOUTH AFRICAN DEFENSE POLICY
A. THE THREAT
1 . Background
South Africa's perception of the threat has developed
in a logical progression from 1960. As discussed in Chap-
ter I, the early 1960 's were seen as the "Years of Crisis,"
and the specific threats were seen to derive mainly from
two sources: internal unrest, or externally supported
terrorism and guerrilla activity. Initial fears of an
external conventional military threat from black states
diminished as the strength of the SADF grew. Consequently,
prior to the Portuguese withdrawal, the organization and
training of the landward defense forces were aimed primarily
at counterinsurgency operations.
Once these initial threat assessments had formed,
there was little apparent change in South African thought
until the 19 73 White Paper on Defense, which introduced the
"Total Strategy" defensive doctrine. The initial develop-
ment of this strategy was done by P . W. Botha during his
tenure as Minister of Defense, and refined considerably by
him when he became Prime Minister. In spite of the new
widened perspectives put forward by the "Total Strategy,"
however, the major threat during the period 19 73-19 75 was
still seen to be guerrilla activity in Namibia and Rhodesia,
and SADF training and organization continued to reflect the
1 C O
major role assigned to unconventional warfare methods.
As in many other areas of South African history,
19 75 proved to be a watershed year for defense policy. The
independence of Angola and Mozambique put radical, black,
leftist governments associated with the Soviet Union not
only in southern Africa, but directly on South Africa's
borders. At the same time, Britain abrogated the Simonstown
agreement, which had for years been the Republic's only
defense relationship with the West. While SADF training
during this turbulent time continued to emphasize counter-
insurgency tactics, preoccupation with a perceived Soivet
threat began to become apparent in South African defense
writings, and preparations were begun to meet a more conven-
tionally oriented outside threat. The Army was reorganized
under separate conventional and counterinsurgency commands
as* a new strand of thought on conventional warfare was
Since 19 75, it has been apparent that South African
strategic thought envisions a two-fold threat. The 19 82
Defense White Paper discusses the threat in broad terms of
the Marxist-Leninist onslaught against Africa, but specifically
assigns both conventional and counterinsurgency roles to the
combat branches of the SADF.
2 . The Conventional Threat
In June 19 79, then Chief of the South African Defense
Force, General Magnus Malan, stated that "the possibility of
a conventional military threat to South Africa in the not
too distant future cannot be ruled out." However, a
review of the forces which could be involved in a confron-
tation between South Africa and any one or combination of the
Front-line States show that with regard to equipment alone,
South Africa is at least equal to, and in many areas,
superior to all potential regional adversaries (see Table 7) .
The Military Balance in Southern Africa
Angola Botswana Zambia Mozambique Zimbabwe Total Africa
Forces 37,500* 3000 14,300 12,650 41,300 108,750 82,400**
Tanks 375 34 195+ 28 632+*** 250
*Some 25,000 Cubans and 450 East Germans operate aircraft/heavy equipment.
There are also Portuguese and 700 Soviet advisors.
**Potential for over 404,000 upon total mobilization.
***Includes some 385 T-34s of questionable value.
@Equipment totals and serviceability uncertain.
@@60 are MIG-17s of questionable value.
In addition to material considerations, a brief review of
many other areas related to the armed forces of these nations,
including sources of recruitment, military traditions and
backgrounds, defense infrastructure, and reserve organi-
zations would also indicate the superiority of the SADF .
Another consideration in addition to the threat
posed solely by South Africa's neighbors is the perceived
conventional threat of the Soviet Union and its proxies.
South Africa has within the past several years expanded its
concept of the conventional threat to include the possi-
bility of an attack by Soviet, Cuban, or Eastern European
troops staging through neighboring countries and utilizing
prepositioned military equipment. In February 19 81, General
Malan, now Minister of Defense, stated, "there is an unpre-
cedented buildup of conventional heavy armaments in Southern
Africa and should these be manned and used by Communist proxy
forces, it could very rapidly lead to a conventional on-
slaught against South Africa." Further, in 19 82, General
Malan said, "The presence of sophisticated weaponry of
Russian origin in South Africa's neighboring states indicates
that South Africa and Southwest Africa/Namibia could become
targets of a conventional onslaught."
Finally, the possibility of a conventional attack
is seen in conjunction with other pressures. This type of
conventional threat could come in the form of conventional
force raids conducted in coordination with terrorist tactics,
and might include maritime actions.
These themes have been discussed from 19 79 on, and
have received even more attention since 19 81. Yet while
planning to meet the threat of a conventional attack is
apparent in the composition and training of the current
SADF, it is also apparent that the possibility of a conven-
tional attack has been used, in part, to justify rising
defense expenditures, new security legislation, and in sup-
port of a new conscription law. It was in support of this
law, which was introduced in 19 82, that General Kalan
stated "the possibility of a conventional attack against
South Africa is the main reason for the country's new
national service system...
This use of the threat of conventional attack makes
sense when viewed within the framework of justifying the
implementation of various facets of the Total National
Strategy, and in part explains the difference between South
African statements and the real military potentials of the
Republic's neighbors. What is probably a more accurate
description of South African defense planners estimates of
the conventional threat faced by South Africa was put
forward by General C. L. Viljoen, Chief of the SADF, in 19 83
In examining the conventional threat, he concluded that
In light... of factors such as poor economic conditions,
internal instability, relatively deficient physical
infrastructures, the inability to properly maintain
or to replace advanced military equipment and discord
arising from old regional conflicts, the African
countries (individually and collectively) pose no
real offensive military threat to the RSA.1^6
According to General Vilojen, the real threat of
conventional weapons in South Africa's neighbors is in the
possibility of these weapons being provided to "terrorist"
organizations, and in the use of these weapons by host coun-
tries in defending "terrorist" bases and headquarters against
South African pre-emption and reprisals. The real threat
of conventional conflict in southern Africa is the threat
of South African reaction against "terrorist" operations with
conventional arms, or in the case of a "drastic escalation
of the East-West conflict..."
3 . The Terrorist Threat
Many observers of South African affairs see two
other types of threat to the Republic in addition to the
conventional threat. The first of these is the threat
presented by internally and externally supported guerrilla
movements, such as UMKONTO WE SIZWE. The second is the
threat of internal unrest in response to the repression of
apartheid, such as occurred during the 19 76 Soweto distur-
bances. However, it is clear that South African defense
planners do not make a differentiation between these two
types of threat. This tendency to group all non-conventional
threats under the general classification of a "terrorist"
threat can be seen in the statements of South African
government officials. For example, in 19 81, the Chief of
the Army, Lieutenant General J. J. Geldenjuys, defined two
types of modern warfare, "insurgency or terrorist warfare,
and conventional warfare." Further, the missions assigned
to the Army, Navy, and Air Force in the 19 82 White Paper on
Defense were divided between conventional and counterinsur-
gency (see Appendix B for a discussion of these missions) .
Two points should be made about the South African definition
of the threat. First, the terms terrorism, insurgency,
insurrection, and guerrilla warfare are all used inter-
changeably by South African government officials. Secondly,
missions assigned to the armed forces also make no distinction
between meeting externally supported and mounted threats
and assisting the SAP in the enforcement of internal
security regulations. It is all assigned as counterinsur-
gency duties .
The tendency in South Africa not to differentiate
between the external non-conventional threat and internal
unrest, and instead to lump all forms of unconventional
threat under the heading "terrorism" is significant for two
reasons. First, this view allows, within the framework of
the Total Onslaught/Total National Strategy, a logical con-
nection between the communist threat, "terrorist" organiza-
tions, and internal unrest in South Africa. Once this
connection is made, it is possible to see internal unrest,
such as boycotts and the actions of labor unions, as occurring
not as a result of South Africa's internal apartheid policies,
but as a result of external interference from black Africa
and the Soviet Union. In 1981, Prime Minister Botha stated,
"...that within South Africa, Russia was providing the finan-
cial support for revolutionary organizations such as the
banned ANC and, in addition some neighbor states were allow-
ing terrorist bases on their territory."
Second, this view of the terrorist threat as one
inspired by external interference as opposed to internal
policies has implications for South Africa's neighbors.
Ever since the initial involvement in Angola, South Africa
has justified crossborder operations as a reaction to dis-
turbances within South Africa. "It is the clear and repeatedly
stated policy of the South African government that it will
take whatever measures are necessary to counter political
violence. That policy includes striking at terrorists in
their bases wherever they may be."
As long as internal unrest can be linked by South
Africa to intervention by its neighbors in the Republic's
internal affairs, justification can be made by South Africa
for a wide range of responses in self-defense. These
responses include escalation of violence from hot pursuit
operations, through pre-emptive strikes, up to actual occu-
pation of territory and the destabilization of neighboring
South African strategic thinking is influenced by a
number of important constraints. These constraints act to
limit the range of actions open to South Africa in responding
to perceived threats. These constraints include those
imposed by population, border vulnerability, international
opposition, resource vulnerability, economic constraints, and
by the perceptions of South African government officials
South Africa is one of the most heavily populated
nations in Africa, with a population of over 28 million
reported in 19 80. However, as Table 8 shows, the majority
of this population is black. In addition, black population
as a percentage of total population is increasing. The
fact that whites make up less than 20% of the country's
population has serious consequences when considered together
with the National Party's apartheid policies.
Population by Racial Composition
19 70 and 19 80
% of Total
Population % of Total
Includes Transkei, Bophuthatswana, and Venda.
a. The Civilian Workforce and Apartheid
Upon coming to power in 1948, the National Party
institutionalized policies which were based on the view that
black workers had no place in the white area beyond certain
work levels. As a result, only limited training facilities
were made available for blacks. As the South African
economy expanded in the 19 70's, the supply of white skilled
workers dried up, and the resulting shortage of skilled
workers led to the beginning of the abolishment of job reser-
vations for whites. However, despite increasing acceptance
of blacks in the skilled workforce and a depressed economy,
by 19 80, it was estimated that professional and semi-
professional work sectors were short on the order of 5.6%,
with the biggest deficiencies in middle management, artisan,
and other specialist vocations.
b. Military Manpower
By the beginning of the 19 80's, it was estimated
that South Africa had a potential military manpower pool of
more than 5 million men of all races of military age. How-
ever, the Defense Act of 1957 limited mandatory military
service to whites, reducing this pool to about 1.2 million
men aged sixteen to sixty-five, of which 750,000 were of the
prime military ages eighteen to thirty-five. As the SADF
was built up to provide for both a larger conventional
force and to meet the demands of the long term war in Namibia,
South Africa's white manpower resources were strained almost
to the limit. The 19 77 Defense White Paper placed primary
emphasis on manpower problems and on drawbacks in the man-
power system. In 19 79, some Citizens Force reservists
returning from active duty were ordered to report for an
additional tour due to an insufficient supply of new recruits.
In addition to an inadequate number of draftees,
other manpower shortages have affected the SADF. The Per-
manent Force has continually fallen short of its authorized
strength. In 19 80, with 20,000 regulars in uniform, Permanent
Force strength was only 80% of its authorized level, with
the most acute shortages in the ranks of junior officers and
experienced NCO ' s . Continued shortages caused plans for the
formation of a Permanent Force brigade to act as a standing
force, scheduled for 19 80, to be postponed.
The military and the economy in South Africa also
interact in two ways involving manpower. First, the SADF
suffers from the same skills shortages which affect the
private sector. The Defense Force must compete with business
and industry for scarce, technically trained personnel. In
1981, then Chief of the Air Force Lieutenant General A. M.
Mueller noted that the skills shortage in the armed forces
was affecting the ability of the services to conduct even
routine equipment maintenance. General Mueller pointed out
that much maintenance must be conducted by the private sector,
resulting in a further loss of skill by military technicians.
In addition, much of the skills shortage in the military,
especially among pilots and aircrews, were due to the
ability of trained personnel to earn more in business than
in the SADF.
Second, serving National Servicemen were being
forced to do longer duty in operational areas in order to
limit the disruptive effects on the economy of mobilizing
Commando and Citizen's Force units. In 19 78, a SADF
spokesman said, "We are doing everything in our power to
cause as little disruption to the economy as possible. To
call up a member of the Commandos or the Citizens Force who
is already economically active will obviously cause far
greater disruption than by using men who are as yet not
actively engaged in the country's economy."
2 . Border Vulnerability
Today South Africa's borders are less secure than
at any time in the country's history. These borders cover
over two thousand miles from Atlantic to Indian Oceans,
and are shared with countries which have exhibited hostility
toward South Africa. The Portuguese withdrawal put a black
Marxist government directly on the Republic's borders when
Mozambique gained independence in 19 75, and the election of
Mugabe in Zimbabwe in 19 80 added another. Only in the west,
where South Africa borders Namibia, can the country said to
be bordered by a "friendly" neighbor, and even this could
change rapidly as a result of ongoing negotiations over the
fate of Namibia.
In reality, however, South Africa is not extremely-
vulnerable over the entire length of its borders. In the
event of Namibian independence under a hostile SWAPO-dominated
government, South Africa's border with Namibia would be
protected in part by the natural barrier of the Orange River.
In addition, the sparsely inhabited desert and steppe
topography of this area would pose a serious obstacle to
off- road penetration by any sizable guerrilla force.
In the east, the Mozambique -South African border near the
coast is swampy and undeveloped, posing similar problems to
guerrilla penetration, and making Swaziland a preferred
passage for guerrillas from Mozambique.
More dangerous are the Republic's borders with Zim-
babwe and Botswana. While the border with Zimbabwe is pro-
tected for 125 miles by a thirteen foot high double fence
topped with barbed wire on the South African side, the
frontier with Botswana is easily crossed, especially in the
winter months of June to September, when the Limpopo River
is fordable at many points. Any enemy force entering
through Botswana would have easy access to - South Africa's
The vulnerability of Souty Africa's border with
Botswana and Zimbabwe is of concern to South Africa for
two other reasons. The first is the dwindling number of
white settlers in this area. It has been feared that the
departure of whites from this border would lead to the
opening of the much-feared "second front," as ANC guerrillas
would be able to move from one black farm to another towards
the country's northern urban industrial areas. To counter
this movement of whites, the government proposed a law re-
quiring at least one white person live on each border farm.
Further, it has been proposed that a chain of fortified
farms, settled by ex-servicemen, be established as defensive
strongholds along these borders. To these ends, interest
free loans have been offered to men with military experience
to take up farming in key areas, and existing farmers given
credits for occupying their property and managing it in
accordance with Defense Force guidelines.
The second concern is that presented by the "inde-
pendent" homelands. As parts of South Africa near the borders
are given over to the homelands, tough problems of border
defense are raised. The homelands occupy strategic terri-
tory on the borders of South Africa, forming a semi-circle
around the industrial and mining heart of the Republic. In
addition, they are populated by ethnic groups that flow into
3 . International Opposition
As can be seen from previous discussions, South
Africa's apartheid policies cause constraints to be placed
on its foreign policies through the linkage between internal
policies and external relations. Attempts to separate inter-
nal policies from foreign affairs, while a major focus of
South Africa, have met with little success. The Outward
Movement, Detente, and the Constellation schemes made few
international gains. In fact, South Africa's international
options narrowed during the periods these plans were being
Internal opposition to internal policies have had
effects on South Africa in ways almost too numerous to
count. These include sports, commercial relationships,
diplomatic relations, and international recognition, to
name but a few. However, several areas can be singled out
for further discussion due to their impacts on South African
a. Lack of Defensive Alliances
A strand which has run through South African
foreign policy since 1948 has been the attempt to obtain
a Western commitment to the defense of South Africa. In
the 1950 's it was support for MEDO, participation in the
Nairobi and Dakar conferences with the colonial powers,
and the execution of the Simonstown agreement with Britain.
Since then, South Africa has continued to work toward ob-
taining a NATO commitment or the organization of a NATO
style alliance in the South Atlantic. In doing so, South
Africa is quick to point out its key position on the Cape
sea route and its economic importance to the West. Naval
facilities in the Republic have been expanded far in excess
of domestic requirements and new command and control networks
utilizing NATO-compatible equipment have been built.
South Africa's Angolan intervention was a turning
point in defense planning with regard to alliances. In
spite of the fact that the efforts of the 1950' s and 1960's
did not result in any formal alliance with the West, until
this time South African planning assumed the West would
still provide aid if the Cape sea route were threatened.
However, the lack of Western support in 19 75 brought this
assumption under question, and South Africa began to look
elsewhere for security arrangements. On one hand, the
growing military strength of the Republic caused it to become
more self-reliant and less in need of Western assurances.
Discussion turned towards the so-called "neutral" or regional
options of South Africa. On the other hand, options with
regard to security arrangements with South American nations,
such as Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay were discussed.
And yet, in spite of the fact that South Africa
seems to be charting a more independent course in defense
affairs, it appears the SADF would still desire a Western
defense commitment, if the price were not too high. As late
as May 19 82, as the Falklands War brought new attention to
the South Atlantic, the head of the SADF, General Viljoen,
called for a revision of Western naval policy towards South
Africa, offering to resume the protection of the Cape sea
route which South Africa had renounced in 19 78 in response
to the 19 77 UN arms embargo.
b. The United Nations Arms Embargo, 19 7 7
By the time the UN's mandatory arms embargo was
enacted in November 1977, South Africa had had a program to
develop arms self-sufficiency for nearly 15 years. The
South African response to the embargo was that it had a
strong enough arms industry to surmount its effects. Minis-
ter of Defense P. W. Botha stated at the time, "We are self-
sufficient enough, without great effort, to fight any non-
conventional war against us, and with special effort, we
can sustain anything of a conventional nature they can throw
• - „202
against us .
In spite of this bravado, it is apparent that
the embargo placed some limitations on South Africa. First,
arms-related equipment and especially spare parts for equip-
ment already in hand had now to be acquired through the
black market, leading to higher costs and unreliable sources
of supply. Second, the embargo denied to South Africa a
narrow type of military equipment which it could not build
for itself, but still desired to have. This included heli-
copters, long-range maritime patrol aircraft, large naval
vessels and submarines, modern artillery, and some types of
rockets and missiles. With regard to these types of equip-
ment, South Africa was faced with the choice of doing without
or of going to the expense of trying to develop variations
of their own.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the arms
embargo made the replacement of military equipment nearing
the end of useful life difficult at best. In retiring old
Shackleton maritime patrol aircraft, South Africa was
forced to modify some of a limited number of C-130 trans-
ports to fill the maritime patrol function due to the
lack of a suitable replacement aircraft. As other equipment
gets older, this problem will become more important to the
c. Resource Vulnerabilities
South Africa has always been quick to point out
its importance to the Western world due to the great mineral
wealth it possesses. However, there are two important re-
sources which the Republic is lacking in: water and oil.
Supplies of these two items either have been or could be
subject to outside interference.
(1) Water. Water is needed in South Africa
for irrigation, mineral exploitation, and the generation
of hydroelectric power. Due to the fact that the region
experiences frequent drought and possesses negligible sur-
face water, large portions of South Africa are unsuitable
for irrigation. This lack of surface water also affects
trade patterns, as there are no navigable rivers in the
To make up for these shortcomings in water
resources, South Africa has invested heavily in two major
hydroelectric programs in what was at the time Portuguese
territory. The Cunene River project, located in Angola
nine miles north of the Namibian frontier, and the Cahora
Bassa project deep in Mozambique on the Zambeze River both
serve South Africa today. As South Africa becomes more
dependent on these projects for power, it becomes more
vulnerable to threats against them.
However, South African dependence on power
from these sources outside its borders also has implications
for Angola and Mozambique. In the case of the Cunene River
project, concern over the security of this project led to
the initial South African presence in southern Angola in
19 75 on the grounds of protecting its investment there.
In the case of Mozambique, South Africa, Mozambique, and
Portugal have recently signed the Cahora Bassa agreement
whereby electricity will be supplied to South Africa by
Mozambique. At the signing ceremony, P. W. Botha pointed
out that the Cahora Bassa agreement was made possible by the
Nkomati agreement signed six weeks earlier. When it is
considered that the Nkomati agreement was made possible in
part by South Africa's destabilization of Mozambique, it can
be assumed that South Africa would consider further destabili-
zations against Angola or Mozambique to protect Cunene or
(2) Oil . The 1973 Arab oil embargo against
South Africa had less effect on the Republic than did the
Portuguese withdrawal. In fact, the oil embargo was re-
sented by the black states of southern Africa, which relied
on South Africa for refined petroleum products, and was
not implemented by Iran, which supplied 90% of South
Africa's oil requirements. The cut in Iranian production
in 19 79, followed by the overthrow of the Shah cut off
supplies of Iranian oil to South Africa, but by 19 80, it
appeared that all of South Africa's needs were being met
thorugh the spot market at higher prices. In fact, produc-
tion of petroleum products went up between 19 79 and 19 80,
the last year energy related production figures were pub-
9 A £
lished by South Africa.
In spite of the small short-term impact of
the loss of traditional oil supplies, the cutoff had the
effect of revealing a vulnerable aspect of South Africa's
economy. The more than 100 million barrels of oil imported
annually are crucial to communications, transportation, and
defense. In addition, the higher price of oil initially
available on the spot market increased the price of economic
growth, although this influence has probably been lessened
by the fall in oil prices in the early 1980 's.
4 . Economic Constraints
South Africa has a strong economy based mainly on
a super-abundance of minerals. Despite a dependence on
Western capital, technology, and markets, South Africa is
the most developed economy on the African continent, and
possesses the potential to become a leading middle economic
power. Yet, since 1948, the government's apartheid policies
have placed serious handicaps on the economy, and many of
the economic constraints under which the Republic labors are
either directly or indirectly a result of these policies.
In some cases, the effects of apartheid are obvious, and
in others, not so. In addition, there are other economic
constraints not related at all to separate development.
The following is a survey of some of the more impor-
tant economic constraints which affect the strategic policies
of South Africa.
a. Investor Confidence
The relationship between the economy and the
political environment is important in all countries, but it
is especially so in South Africa. Potential investors,
foreign and domestic, must evaluate the impact of the various
internal racial, social, and political tensions and divi-
sions, together with the military and political position of
South Africa in southern Africa before even considering the
economic viability of the potential investment.
Moreover, the relationship between economic
variables and the political environment in South Africa is
seldom straightforward. When the economic and political
environment are healthy, growth in the economy seems assured.
Conversely, when both are not favorable, as during the 19 75-
1978 time period, growth is inhibited. In periods where
economic and political signals are mixed, such as after
Sharpeville in 1960, and in the early 1980 's, economic growth
has ensued, although the chance of risk was higher.
b. Balance of Payment Concerns
Due to the limited size of its domestic markets,
South Africa is dependent upon maintaining a flow of exports.
The economy is vulnerable to reduced earnings and to shortages
of foreign capital, in that the South African government
has preferred to inhibit growth 'when faced with balance of
payments difficulties rather than rely on loans through
international money markets. Export growth is required for
continued expansion of import consumption and investment
An important factor in South Africa's import-
export equation is the international price of gold. One of
the major factors responsible for the recession in South
Africa in the latter 1970 's was the drop in gold prices.
Gold fell from $161 an ounce in 1975 to less than $110 an
ounce in 1976, costing South Africa at least $575 million
in annual revenues. Again, between 19 80 and 19 82, a
drop in the international price of gold from $613 an ounce
to $357 an ounce in part caused South Africa to experience
a large trade deficit and high inflation due to balance of
payments difficulties, and ultimately led to a devaluation
of the Rand and cutbacks in government spending.
c. The Labor Force
As an industrialized, populous country, South
Africa's labor force should be an economic asset, and yet
there are a number of constraints put on the Republic by
the combination of the composition of the work force and
First, as discussed above under manpower con-
siderations, there is the effect of the shortage of skilled
workers both in the economy and in the SADF. In addition to
the considerations already touched upon, it is also important
to note that as the SADF and the economy continue to compete
for skilled labor, and as more whites are involved for
longer periods in the military, the economy becomes more
dependent on the black work force.
Second, as the need for skilled workers grows,
the government is forced to amend the apartheid system to
allow the utilization of the black majority of the work
force. In 19 79 the Wiehahn Commission recommended the
abolition of the color bar and the training of black appren-
tices in white urban areas. The political significance of
these changes is two-fold. First, these changes have the
effect of blurring apartheid in economic areas, altering
relationships between workers, and potentially providing
spillover in political areas. Second, as black workers'
become skilled and gain more income, their expectations grow
as they gain more economic leverage.
Third, and related to the economic leverage
being acquired by blacks, is the rise in black trade unions.
The Wiehahm Commission conceded that all workers should have
union representation, and the government has allowed the
provisional registration of black unions. While these
unions are heavily regulated, the implications are clear
and potentially disruptive. They include the use of black
union power for political ends and the danger of backlash
from white unions.
Fourth is the economy's dependence on foreign
African labor to work in gold mines where South African
blacks are reluctant to go. In 19 76, foreign workers
composed a full third of the black labor force. The govern-
ment has tried with little success to reduce this dependence
by encouraging South African laborers to take jobs normally
held by foreigners.
Finally, the inability to absorb the rising
number of black workers into the work force has led to an
estimated unemployed black population of between one and two
million, or about 10-20% of the work force. It is estimated
that South Africa would have to maintain a growth in GNP
of 8% a year to fully utilize this mostly unskilled excess.
This paradox of unemployment amid worker shortage does not
in itself inhibit economic growth, but has great potential
to be politically destabilizing.
d. The Effect of Government on the Economy
The recent trend in South Africa has been away
from government interference in the economy. P. W. Botha,
as part of the Twelve-Point Plan, committed South Africa
to a free enterprise philosophy. Import controls were
dismantled, foreign exchange controls relaxed, rent controls
abolished, and limited labor reforms undertaken. And yet
there are still government actions which have had major nega-
tive effects on the economy which must be noted.
First, the economic costs of apartheid has acted
as a major inhibitor of economic growth. The effect of the
lack of training programs and educational opportunities for
non-whites and the effects of these shortcomings on the
labor force has already been discussed. In addition, the
actual monetary cost of supporting apartheid must be con-
sidered. The Rand cost of maintaining separate facilities
for the races, enforcing security and influx control laws,
and maintaining separate homelands which are not economically
viable has never been fully calculated. However, one author
estimated that in 19 77 the cost of operating the pass system
alone was 112,825,327 Rand a year.
Second, the rising cost of defense has become
an increasing drain on the economy. Even in 19 81-82, in what
was described as a "moderately contractionary" budget, de-
fense spending rose 30% over the previous year. Govern-
ment officials justify these continuing increases by pointing
to the threats arrayed against the country. In 19 81, the
SADF Chief of Staff for Finance, Lieutenant General W. J.
Berg, stated, "It is important that certain matters in the
budget must enjoy priority. Defense is one of these. The
economy cannot be placed on a healthy basis if there is no
peace and tranquility in the country and its inhabitants feel
insecure." In addition, the South African government
has been quick to point out that at 3.5% of the GNP , defense
spending is actually comparatively low. However, the
important points to be made are not related to the size of
South Africa's defense expenditures when compared to other
nations, rather how rapidly that spending has risen, and
how it continues to rise in the face of poor economic
conditions. The 19 81 defense budget was 860% higher than
that of ten years before.
A final area which must be considered is the cost
of stockpiling strategic materials. While statistical data
on South Africa's oil consumption are classified under the
Petroleum Products Act, it was estimated in 19 83 that South
Africa's strategic oil reserve equaled about three years
consumption and represented the largest reserve of crude
oil relative to size of economy of any oil-importing nation.
The cost of stockpiling, when added to the costs of other
projects related to strategic materials, such as SASOL's
coal-to-oil project, the continued search for domestic
sources of oil, and the cost of the nuclear program, repre-
sents another significant drain on the country's economic
5 . Perceptual Constraints
As discussed by K. J. Holsti in his consideration of
the foreign policy output of nations, different policy
makers faced with the same choices under similar circum-
stances will react differently. This is the result of the
fact that many variables besides the immediate situation
affect the images of the decision maker. These variables
are the policy maker's beliefs, values, attitudes, and
ideology, and they are important in providing the framework
within which events are analyzed and decisions are made.
With respect to South Africa, the framework for
analysis and formation of policy is based upon the percep-
tions and beliefs of white South Africans. The ideology
which forms the basis for their perceptions is that of the
volk as an ethnic group with its own distinct religion,
culture, and political sovereignty.
It is the survival of the volk which has occupied
Afrikaners for 150 years. The assumption of power by the
National Party in 1948 did not allay the feelings of concern
over the preservation of this identity. Instead, having a
majority in Parliament meant that for the first time Afri-
kaners would be able to control the government and ensure
the survival of the volk. As internal and external pres-
sures on South Africa have grown since 19 60, the focus of
the South African response has remained the preservation of
their identity. The debate between verligte (enlightened)
and verkrampte (closed off) among Afrikaners is not a
struggle between liberal and conservative, but a more narrow
dispute over the means utilized to accomplish the same end.
Religious and legal principles form an important
part of the Afrikaner world view. Maintenance of Christian
values in the face of Western materialism and communist
atheism is a real concern of the Dutch Reformed churches of
South Africa, and a concern which is shared with many South
African English-speaking churches. Regard for law and
morality in international relations is included in Afrikaner
University instruction. Non-interference in the internal
affairs of other countries is an often-quoted legal princi-
ple, reflecting South Africa's disinterest in the affairs
of other nations and the desire of South Africa to detach
its own domestic affairs from its dealings with other countries
Another facet of the concern with law and religion
is a preoccupation with the view that South Africa stands
alone as an isolated outpost of Western Christian civiliza-
tion against a growing onslaught against these values. The
communists of the Soviet Union are responsible for this at-
tack, but they are unintentionally supported by other forces
which weaken the Western world, including liberalism,
materialism, secularism, and socialism. South African
leaders take seriously the idea that the ultimate goal of
the Soviet Union is world domination, and also apparently
view other communist states, such as the Peoples' Republic
of China, as acting as Soviet agents. The 19 82 Defense
White Paper defines the threat in these terms:
The ultimate aim of the Soviet Union and its allies
is to overthrow the present body politic in the RSA
and replace it with a Marxist-oriented form of
government to further the objectives of the USSR,
therefore all possible methods and means are used to
attain this objective. This includes instigating
social and labor unrest, civilian resistance,
terrorist attacks against the infrastructure of the
RSA and the intimidation of Black leaders and mem-
bers of the Security Forces. This onslaught is
supported by a world-wide propaganda campaign and
the involvement of various front organizations, such
as trade unions and even certain church organiza-
tions and leaders. 220
It can be seen in a number of instances that South
African perceptions have led to faulty assumptions about
the country's strategic situation. These assumptions, in
turn, have led to defense policies which, in light of real
world events, did not best meet South African needs. As
already discussed, during the period 1948-1960, many of
the key strategic assumptions upon which the country's
foreign policies were based, turned out to be faulty.
Further, it was probably South Africa's perception that the
Republic could count on support from the United States and
from moderate black countries which led to increasing in-
volvement in the Angolan civil war, with results which were
plainly not in South Africa's best interests.
1 . The South African Defense Force
a . The Army
(1) Organization . The strength of the
standing army of South Africa in 19 83 was 6 7,400, including
5,400 non-white regulars, 2,000 women, and 50,000 National
Servicemen completing two years of required active duty.
This number is supplemented by reservists called up for
periods of active duty of up to three months from an Active
Citizens Force pool of at least 130,00 men. Reservists serve
in the Citizens Force for 12 years, during which they spend
720 days in uniform, and after which they may be allocated
to the Commando Force, where they are liable to serve 12
days a year to age 55.
In the early 19 80 's, the Army was restruc-
tured in order to counter all forms of insurgency while at
the same time maintaining a creditable conventional force
(see Table 9) . To meet these requirements, the Army is sub-
divided into conventional and counterinsurgency forces.
The counterinsurgency forces are further divided into nine
territorial commands, each of which is responsible to the
Chief of the Army. This force consists of members of the
Permanent Force, Commandos, and a few selected Citizens
The Citizens Force provides the organiza-
tion for conventional defense. For the most part, the
Citizens Force is organized conventionally as a corps made
up of two divisions (see Table 9) , each with a number of
brigades. Corps headquarters is at Pretoria and divisional/
brigade headquarters are staffed by Permanent Force per-
sonnel in main population areas. These units provide the
cadres around which full scale mobilization of the Citizens
Force can be accomplished.
Army Order of Battle 19 79
7th Division (Johannesburg)
71st Motorized Brigade (Capetown)
Capetown Highlanders (Capetown)
Capetown Rifles (Capetown)
Western Provinces Regiment
72nd Motorized Brigade
( Johanne sburg)
1st Battalion Transvaal
2nd Battalion Transvaal
73rd Motorized Brigade
Rand Light Infantry
( Johanne sburg)
Regiment Louw Werpner
Light Horse Regiment (AC)
Capetown Field Artillery
14th Field Artillery
( Potchef strcom)
7th LAA Regiment
81st Armored Brigade (Pretoria)
Pretoria Highlanders (Pretoria)
Pretoria Regiment (Pretoria)
Regiment Boland (Pretoria)
82nd Mechanized Brigade
( Potchef s troom)
Regiment de la Rey (Germiston)
Regiment de Wet (Kroonstat)
84th Motorized Brigade
1st Battalion Royal Durban
Light Infantry (Durban)
2nd Battalion Royal Durban
Light Infantry (Durban)
Prince Alfred's Guard (Port
Umvoiti Mounted Rifles (AC)
Transvaal Staats Artillery
Transvaal Horse Artillery
Counter ins urgency Forces
Western Province Command (Capetown) :
Cape Garrison Artillery (Capetown)
101st Signals Squadron (Capetown)
Cape Corps Service Battalion
6th BOD (Capetown)
Command Workshops (Capetown)
2nd Military Hospital (Wynberg)
3rd Field Ambulance (Wynberg)
11th STD (Wynberg)
Cape Flats Commando (Wynberg)
Worcester Commando (Wynberg)
Stellenbosch Commando (Wynberg)
10th AA Regiment (Youngsfield)
4th Electronic Workshops
Orange Free State Command
2nd Field Engineering Regiment
17th Field Squadron (Bethlehem)
35th Engineering Supplementary
Tank Squadron 1st Special
Service Brigade (Bloemfontein)
1st South African Infantry
1st Parachute Battalion
3rd Military Hospital
TABLE 9 (CONTINUED)
Eastern Province Command
(Port Elizabeth) :
6th South African Infantry
84th Technical Service Corps
11th Commando (Kimberley)
East Cape Province Commando
Port Elizabeth Commando
Danie Theron Combat School
Natal Command (Durban) :
5th South African Infantry
15th Maintenance Unit
Tugela Commando (Durban)
Umvoiti Commando (Durban)
Parachute Commando (Kroonstat)
School of Engineering (Kroonstat)
West Transvaal Command ( - ) :
2nd Signals Regiment
5th B.O.D. (Pretoria)
61st Brigade Workshop (Lyttleon)
81st Brigade Workshop (Lyttleon)
Pretoria Cos Commando ( - )
Horse and Dog Centre
South African Military College
( Voortrekkehoogte )
Technical Service Centre
Services School (Voortrekkehoogte)
SAMS Training Centre
( Voortrekkehoogte )
School of Technical Training
Northern Transvaal Command (
Command Workshop ( - )
Frankfort Commando ( - )
North Western Command
( Potchef s troom)
3rd South African Infantry (
Command Workshop ( - )
( Johanne sbur g)
Johannesburg Noord Commando
South West Africa (Windhoek)
In addition to organic formations, the
SADF has been involved in the establishment and training of
territorial forces in Namibia and in the "independent"
homelands. In Namibia, the Southwest Africa Territorial
Force (SWATF) was established on 1 August 19 80 as a separate
force under South African control. It consists of four area
commands, North, Eastern, Central, and Southern, comprising
26 area force units organized along the lines of South
Africa's Commandos. Air elements consist of one Citizens
Force squadron equipped with light aircraft. In addition,
the North Area force consists of six regular SWATF light
infantry battalions and one mounted unit, and there is a
mobile reserve brigade of mixed regular and Citizens Force
The first Homelands Defense Force created
was that of Transkei. Upon "independence" the Transkei Defense
Force (TDF) consisted of one battalion of 254 men, along with
30 seconded SADF Permanent Force officers . Relations between
the TDF and the SADF were close until Transkei broke diplo-
matic relations with South Africa in 1978. Afterward, to
counter a decline in the efficiency of the TDF after the
departure of seconded SADF personnel, Transkei appointed
Lieutenant Colonel Ron Reid-Daly, formerly commander of
Rhodesia's Selous Scouts to rebuild the TDF. In 19 82, the
TDF consisted of a Permanent Force brigade of two battalions.
The SADF still provides assistance with supplies, logis-
tics, intelligence, and coastal defense.
Bophuthatswana , as the second "independent"
homeland also fielded an armed force upon independence.
The Bophuthatswana National Guard consists of about 220
men trained by the SADF. Relations between Bophuthatswana
and South Africa remain close, and the first Bophuthatswana
Minister of Defense was Hennie Riekert, a former Brigadier
with the SADF. The BNG is effectively a unit of the SADF ' s
Upon "independence" in September 1979, the
Venda National Force combined the functions of army, police,
traffic police, and detention services. This force is com-
manded by a former South African policeman, Lieutenant
Colonel T. R. Mudautzi. In 19 80, the VNF numbered about
(2) Army Equipment.
200 OLIFANT (CENTURION) MBT
140 ELAND Mk IV/VI (Panhard AML-
60/90) Armored Cars
1200 RATEL Armored Cars
500 RHINO/HIPPO Armored Personnel
2 80 SARACEN Armored Personnel
230 FERRET Armored Cars (in reserve)
50 M3A1/STAGHOUND Armored Cars
125 25pdr Field Guns
75 5.5" Towed Guns
50 Sexton 25pdr Self-Propelled Guns
40 155mm Towed Guns
40 G5 155mm Towed Guns/G6 155mm
Some VALKIRI Self-Propelled 127mm
Multiple Rocket Launchers
Some 81mm Mortars
200 120mm mortars
900 6pdr, 17pdr, M-67 90mm
Some 106mm Recoiless Rifles
55 K63 Twin 35mm Antiaircraft
24 L70 Twin 40mm Antiaircraft
15 3.7" Antiaircraft guns
Missiles • 54 Tigercat Surface to Air Missiles
54 Cactus (CROTALE) Surface to
120 ENTAC Antitank Guided Weapons
b. The South African Air Force
(1) Organization . In terms of training, main-
tenance, and quality of personnel, the South African Air
Force (SAAF) is the most powerful in subsaharan Africa. It
has a complement of 10,000 men, including 9,000 Permanent
Force regulars and 1000 National Service personnel. The
Citizens Force reserve numbers 25,000, including many experi-
enced pilots and maintenance crewmen who are regularly called
to active duty.
The SAAF is organized tactically into four
operational commands: (1) Main Threat Area; (2) Southern
Air Command; (3) Western Air Command; and (4) Training Command
In addition, the Citizens Force operates six reserve squad-
rons with about 100 aircraft that can be adapted to strike
and Counterinsurgency missions, and the Commandos maintain
another thirteen squadrons of light aircraft. Air Force
personnel are also responsible for the South African air
defense alert system and man early warning radars.
(2) SAAF Equipment.
5 CANBERRA B(I) 12
3 CANBERRA T-4
6 BUCCANEER S-50
32 MIRAGE F-lAZ
22 MIRAGE III CZ/EZ
57 MB 32 6 M/K IMPALA I/II
13 MIRAGE F-ICZ
6 MIRAGE RZ/R2Z
5 SHACKLETON MR- 3 (being retired)
18 PIAGGIO P-166S ALBATROSS
60 MB 32 6 M/K IMPALA I/II
2 6 MIRAGE III (10 EZ , 10 D2Z,
100 HARVARD T-6G
12 C-4 7 DAKOTA
30 ALOUETTE II/III
12 SUPER FRELON
4 8 PUMA
40 ALOUETTE II
10 HAS-1 WASP
2 7 ALOUETTE III
7 C-130B HERCULES
9 TRANSALL C-160Z
7 DC- 4
2 4 C-4 7 DAKOTA
4 HS-125 MERCURIUS
1 BAC VISCOUNT 7 81
6 MERLIN IVA AIR AMBULANCE
15 AM-3C BOSBOK
25 C-4M KUDU
20 CESSNA CE-185
9 6 MB 326 M/K IMPALA I/II
15 L-100 HERCULES in civil service
13 Air commando squadrons with
registered private aircraft
c. The South African Navy
(1) Organization . Originally formed to aug-
ment the Royal Navy in the defense of the Cape sea route, the
South African Navy (SAN) attempted to assume this role alone
after the British pullback from east of the Suez. However,
creditable development of a blue water navy became impossible
after 19 78 when France observed the UN arms embargo and can-
celled the delivery of two corvettes and two submarines.
Without access to more powerful ships and,
more importantly, with the shift in emphasis from open
ocean ASW to a mission of counterinsurgency patrols against
the possibility of hostile landings, sabotage, and attacks
on coastal traffic, the complexion of the SAN has changed in
the past five years. British supplied destroyers and frigates
have been retired in favor of smaller vessels, and a 900
man marine force added to assist in harbor security. In
19 83 the SAN was manned by 5000 men, including the marines,
of which 2100 were conscripts, and 2000 Citizens Force
The Navy infrastructure has also undergone
a period of improvement since the Simonstown naval base was
transferred from Britain in 1957. In November 1969, the
SAAF transferred Langebaan air base to the SAN, and it
became SAS Flamingo air-sea rescue base. In 19 72, a new
base, SAS Hugo Biermann, was opened to accommodate South
Africa's new submarine force, and in March 19 83 the new
maritime headquarters at Silvermine was opened. In 19 80,
SAS Hugo Biermann was enlarged, and the naval base at
Salisbury Island, Durban was reopened after being closed for
23 years. Finally, establishment of the Marines in the early
19 80's brought the development of a new marine base at
Simons town, called SAS Simonsberg.
(2) SAN Equipment. 230
Submarines 3 DAPHNE Class
Frigates 1 PRESIDENT Class
Fast Attack 8 MINISTER OF DEFENSE Class
boats (missile) (6 SKERPIOEN SSM)
3 (2 SKERPIOEN SSM)
Patrol Boats 5 FORD Class
2 Modified TON Class
30 NAMACURRA Class Harbor Patrol
Mine Warfare 6 TON Class Minesweepers
2 TON Class Minehunters
Auxiliaries 1 Fleet Replenishment Ship
1 Ocean Hydrographic Ship
1 Inshore Hydrographic Ship
2 . The South African Arms Industry
As has been previously discussed, the growing
pressures of the early 1960 's, culminating with the 1963
voluntary arms embargo, had the effect of increasing the
desire of South Africa to become more self-sufficient in
defense equipment. By the eve of the 19 77 mandatory arms
embargo, the combination of South Africa's arms production
using local design, license production, and embargo evasion,
coupled with weapons procured prior to 19 77, offered South
Africa a moderate level of independence from external sources
b. Sources of Arms
After the second United Nations arms embargo,
South Africa continued to work towards self-sufficiency
in arms production. In 19 77, according to estimates of the
South African Defense White Paper of that year, South Africa's
defense industry could produce military equipment adequate
for internal protection, but not that required to repel a
"conventional external threat." At that time it was
estimated that foreign sources of supply were still required.
By 19 80 new estimates showed that as a result of the con-
certed effort to mobilize the economy as a part of the
Total National Strategy, South Africa was considered to be
80% self-sufficient in overall arms requirements, and 100%
independent in infantry arms up to and including armored
Since 1977, South Africa has utilized a number
of methods to manufacture or otherwise obtain end-product
weapons which could not be manufactured in the country.
These methods include:
1. Transfer of Technology — In order to acquire the capa-
bility to produce an end-product weapon domestically, South
Africa could procure a license for production, and build
the capability with design and technical assistance from
the weapon's original manufacturer. Once the ability to
produce a weapon is acquired, it cannot be withdrawn, even
if the seller cancels the license. The Atlas Aircraft
Corporation was built with British and Italian personnel
and technical assistance.
2. Establishment of a subsidiary — A weapon supplier can
evade the arms embargo by transferring an entire industry
rather than just a weapon or license. This can be done by
opening a subsidiary or branch office in South Africa.
For example, this method was used by the British Imperial
Chemical Industries, which owns 43% of the South African
Explosives and Chemical Industries. South African Explo-
sives and Chemical controls two munitions plants whose entire
production is geared towards SADF needs. South Africa has
also stated that, under South African law, foreign indus-
tries in South Africa can be ordered to convert production
to military purposes if required.
3. Investments in producer countries--By underwriting the
cost of weapons research and development in another country,
South Africa acquires weapons and technology. The link be-
tween the South African CACTUS air drfense system and the
French CROTALE are well known. The systems' characteristics
were specified by South Africa, and the Republic paid for
85% of the development costs, working in conjunction with
Matra and CSF in France. Other South African links with
the French defense industry include procurement of MIRAGE
aircraft and associated equipment.
4. Defining military equipment as civilian—Suppliers
continue to deal successfully with South Africa in material
which lies in the gray area between civilian and military
use. This equipment includes electronics, radar and com-
munications equipment, computers, and dual use aircraft,
such as the Lockheed L-100/C-130. Utilizing "civilian
equipment," South Africa installed a communications system
useful in reporting guerrilla activities. In addition,
in 19 80, air commando squadrons flying light aircraft pro-
vided aerial reconnaissance for army units.
5. Exports of spare parts and equipment for maintenance
of military equipment—Although spare parts were covered in
both the 1963 and the 19 77 arms embargos, no exporting coun-
try considered it possible or practical to adhere to these
restrictions. Not only was it regarded as contrary to normal
commercial practice, but enforcement was difficult at best.
6. Re-exporting of arms by way of a third party — Many
exporters of arms insist on provisions against re-export of
weapons in their contract. Some, such as Sweden and
Switzerland, do not. The Bofers and Oelikon antiaircraft
guns possessed by South Africa were not bought directly from
the manufacturer, but through a third party. This was true
for South Africa's TIGERCAT surface to air missile system
(UK via Jordan) , Centurion tanks (UK vie Jordan, UK via
Israel, UK via India via an arms broker), and Rolls Royce
Viper engines for IMPALA aircraft (UK via license to Italy).
7. Dealings with other international "pariah" states--
It is interesting to note that the only major end-product
weapons acquired by South Africa since the arms embargo came
from another nation which has suffered a degree of inter-
national isolation. Israel provided three RESHEF class
guided missile patrol boats and the technology to build
more of these craft in South Africa. In addition, Israel
has transferred the GABRIEL surface to surface missile
(called the SKERPIOEN in South Africa) to arm these craft.
While relations between South Africa and Israel remain low
key, there have been reports that South Africa is interested
in acquiring the KFIR aircraft and other military equipment
from Israel in exchange for raw materials.
8. Smuggling--There are a number of ways of smuggling
arms throughout the world, with or without the involvement
of the governments. While it is difficult to trace, it
seems that rather than drying up South Africa's sources of
arms, the 19 77 arms embargo had the effect of driving the
market underground. There have been sufficient reports of
smuggling to South Africa to indicate that South Africa
is able to acquire most of the military equipment it requires
with little trouble.
9. Use of captured weapons—As the late 1970 's and 1980 's
brought a growing proclivity of South Africa to conduct
crossborder, offensive operations against groups such as
SWAPO, large amounts of military equipment began to fall
into the SADF ' s hands. Some of this equipment proved useful
enough, or was captured in great enough quantity, to allow
its adoption for use by the SADF . It has been reported
that SADF units in the operational area have been issued
with Soviet RPG-7 rocket launchers as an anti-vehicle
2 3 8
weapon. It has also been reported that South African
artillery units. have been issued with Soviet made antiair-
craft artillery and that a training course in the use of this
type of equipment had been instituted in South Africa in
1982. Finally, it has also been reported that South
Africa had captured a number of SAM- 3 , SAM-6 , and SAM- 7
missile batteries in raids into Angola.
c. The South African Arms Industry and Self-Suf f iciency
An examination of the SADF ' s requirements and
the country's ability to meet these requirements leads to
a categorization of weapons types and the steps South Africa
has taken to acquire them:
1. Items which South Africa is producing, either as its
own design or as a modification of imported designs. This
includes armored vehicles, soft-skinned vehicles, small arms,
explosives, artillery, most ammunition, and some types
2. License built items incorporating imported designs
and components. This includes light aircraft, combat air-
craft up to the MIRAGE Fl, missile patrol boats, and some
types of missiles.
3. Items in which major investments are now being made
to design, develop, and produce local models. These may
be based on existing models produced elsewhere, but which
can be built by South Africa, including helicopters, heavy
artillery, large naval vessels, and multiple artillery
4. Items which were acquired abroad and modified for
South African use, but which South Africa is not attempting
to build either because further procurement is not required
or because production of the item is clearly beyond South
African capabilities. This includes gray area items which
can be acquired as civilian use material, such as communi-
cations and electronic equipment.
5. Items which South Africa does not possess and is not
contemplating production of due to lack of production capa-
bility or lack of a requirement. This includes long range
maritime patrol aircraft, advanced avionics, electronic
countermeasure equipment, and major naval vessels beyond
corvettes and submarines .
It seems that, with some important limitatios,
South Africa produces or is able to acquire sufficient arms
to meet any credible or likely threat. Further, a good
indication of the country's self-sufficiency is the fact
that for the first time in 1982, South Africa attempted to
enter the arms export market. At first, during the Falklands
conflict, there were rumors that South Africa had supplied
Argentina with weapons and spare parts. Then, in October
19 82, South Africa made a surprise appearance at the Greek
Defendory Exposition as the beginning of a major effort to
increase the foreign sale of arms. South Africa offered
armored vehicles, artillery, missiles, and a wide variety
of small arms, ammunition, and electronic equipment.
3 . Economic Assets
In spite of the economic constraints on South Africa
discussed above, the country's economy remains in many ways
a valuable asset. Natural and human resources, commitment
to growth-oriented free enterprise, and the ability to
attract substantial foreign capital have resulted in great
economic advances in spite of the limitations imposed by
apartheid and growing defense expenditures. Further, the
Botha government's attempts to mobilize the economy to sup-
port the Total National Strategy, as embodied in points 7,
8, and 12 of the Twelve Point Plan, have made the business
sector a valuable ally in meeting the Total Onslaught.
This economic viability has been useful in a number of ways
as South Africa attempts to meet the "onslaught" and improve
its international position.
a. Transportation Infrastructure
South Africa has the most highly developed trans-
portation system on the African continent. Internally rail-
roads link all main population centers and are capable of
moving large quantities of bulk goods over long distances.
In addition, except in the lightly populated northwest,
South Africa is criss-crossed by a dense system of modern,
all weather roads. Externally, the country is served by six
major ports — Durban, East London, Port Elizabeth, Capetown,
Richards Bay, and Saldanha Bay--and a number of smaller
ones. South Africa also maintains a claim to Walvis Bay,
the only deepwater port in Namibia.
The transportation infrastructure is strate-
gically important to South Africa for two reasons. First,
the highly developed transportation system allows the rapid
movement of SADF units in response to threats. Second, all
of the states of southern Africa rely on South African trans-
port facilities for the import and export of goods.
Swaziland, for example, is dependent on the ports of Durban
and Richards Bay for nearly all exports. This dependence
gives South Africa a lever to use in relations with its
neighbors. It also provides a buffer for South Africa
against the threat of sanctions. As South Africans are
quick to point out, any sanctions against South Africa
would be just as damaging to the rest of southern Africa
as they would be to South Africa.
b. Strategic Resources
While lacking in oil and water, South Africa
has proved to be a storehouse of valuable minerals. Mining
accounted for 12% of GDP between 1972 and 1977. By 1979,
this share had risen to 19% of GDP. Gold, Platinum group
metals , and diamonds are especially important to the South
African economy as major sources of income. In addition,
large reserves of coal and urnaium give the country an
alternative to oil in the production of energy. Finally,
South Africa possesses major shares of the free world's
known reserves of many important minerals, such as chromium,
manganese, antimony, copper, and titanium.
Maintaining access to strategic minerals has long
been a concern of the industrial states of the West, and
this in itself is an asset to South Africa. In addition,
these resources provide other benefits to the Republic.
For example, the value of gold exports in the 19 70s in part
financed the military buildup of that period. In addition,
the employment of large numbers of foreign workers in the
mining sector provides the Republic as host country with a
certain amount of leverage over the countries which supply
these laborers. Mozambique, for example, is dependent upon
the income earned by expatriate workers for foreign currency,
c. Economic Strength
In spite of the economic constraints discussed
earlier, the fact that South Africa has the most developed,
strongest economy in southern Africa remains a valuable
asset for two major reasons. First, South Africa's strong
economy has allowed economic integration with Western
economies. Some 350 American companeis had a total of
more than $1.7 billion in direct investments in South
Africa in 19 78, with outstanding loans and credits of U.S.
banks totalling another $2.2 billion. During the same time
period, South Africa was the recipient of 20% of all of the
United Kingdom's foreign investment. This closeness to
Western economies is important in providing South Africa
with sources of international capital, and in providing
further protection against the threat of sanctions.
Second, South Africa's economic influence in
southern Africa gives the Republic further ways in which to
influence the actions of its neighbors. By 1978, South
Africa's trade with the rest of Africa totalled $1 billion
in exports and $1/2 billion in imports annually, accounting
for 70% of the GNP of the nations of southern Africa.
In addition, South Africa is the primary source of imports
by neighboring countries, the main supplier of investment
funds and management skills, and a key user of both goods
and labor from black southern Africa.
4 . Population Assets
While the fact that an oppressed, majority, black
population is a constraint upon South Africa, there is also
an important population asset which must be considered.
That is the unity of the white population when issues of
defense are involved. This is not to say that all the whites
in South Africa will be united behind the government on
every issue. There is a traditional split between Afrikaner
and English-speaking South Africans to be considered, and
the newer split between the National Party and the recently
formed Conservative Party. What is important within the
context of South African Defense policy is how white
South Africans support the government on defense matters and
how willing white South Africans are to endure military
service in support of, as they see it, their way of life.
With regard for white support for government defense
policies, it is useful to examine a public opinion survey
taken by Geldenjuys in 19 82. This survey found that the
government's explanation of the communist threat was shared
by the majority of the white population. Further, there
were also indications that the majority of the white popu-
lation supported government defense policies such as cross-
border operations in opposing the threat.
In addition, white South Africans have endured an
ever-increasing burden with regard to military service with
little outward display of opposition. The amount of time
spent in uniform by the average white male has already been
discussed, but what is important to this discussion is the
fact that this increasing commitment has been accepted with
little opposition and minimal evidence of draft evasion.
This does not mean that opposition to government
defense policies and conscription could not increase in
response to increased pressure on South Africa, as happened
in Rhodesia in the waning days of the Smith regime. It does
mean that as long as the government can redirect, diffuse,
or effectively respond to these pressures, white approval
will probably remain high, allowing the government to rely
on a continued high level of support from the nation's
D. RESPONSES — SOUTH AFRICAN DEFENSE POLICY
In meeting the perceived threats to its security,
South Africa has taken a number of actions to ensure its
continued security. These actions are devised within
parameters defined on one hand by the constraints under
which South Africa must operate, and on the other by the
assets and strengths which South Africa possesses. These
actions in total make up South Africa's defense policies.
It is important to note that, in the case of South
Africa, these policies are not only designed to ensure the
survival of the regime, but the survival of the government
of the National Party and, by extension, the survival of the
Afrikaner volk. This includes ensuring the supremacy of
whites in South Africa.
For conveneince, actions taken by South Africa are divided
below into military, political, and economic areas. In
many cases it is problematical whether an action is classi-
fied under one heading or another, for all of these actions
are related and interdependent, in many cases overlapping
into all three areas. The classification is done for
convenience of discussion only.
1. Military Actions
a. Maintenance of a Strong Defense Force
The historical connection between the growing
perception of threat to South Africa which rose out of the
early 1960's and the increasing strength and influence of
the SADF has already been discussed. Also discussed was
the changing organizational and training orientation of
the SADF in response to changing threat perceptions.
Finally, the strength of the SADF in comparison with the
armed forces of the rest of southern Africa has also been
Maintenance of a strong defense force is important
to South Africa for several reasons:
1. In view of the possibility of internal unrest, the
SADF performs important functions in support of the SAP in
enforcement of internal security laws.
2. In view of the hostility of the rest of Africa to
South Africa's internal policies, the Defense Force provides
protection against external attack, either conventional or
3. The SADF is also capable of carrying out a variety of
operations either directly against or in support of dissi-
dents operating against neighboring governments in support
of the political or economic objectives of the South African
government. These types of operations will be discussed
in greater detail below.
4. The strength of the Defense Force protects South
Africa from outside interference in South Africa's internal
affairs, allowing the Republic to institute its own brand
of internal reform without regard for the opinon of the
rest of the international community:
Another vital reason for the strength of the South
African Defense Force is that this country is
bringing about far-reaching changes in its Con-
stitution and is abandoning the Westminister form
of government. It wishes to do so without outside
interference, and today the South African Defense
Force is providing this country with the umbrella
of confidence it requires to bring about this
b. Offensive Warfare — Crossborder Operations
In 19 83, General J. J. Geldenhuys told a
seminar on revolutionary warfare that it was more economi-
cal to fight a terrorist war offensively than defensively.
"You don't win any war through defense... it is generally
more economical to fight a war offensively."
Since 1975, the SADF has acted offensively by
crossing into the territory of South Africa's neighbors.
A variety of crossborder operations have been conducted
to achieve a variety of different results.
(1) Goals of Crossborder Operations . Attacks
on the territory of South Africa's neighbors can be seen as
having a number of different goals. First, and probably
most importantly, these actions are intended to cripple
the ability of guerrilla forces to conduct raids into South
Africa or Namibia by attacking guerrilla bases. In 19 83,
General Vilojoen, Chief of the SADF, said he believed it
possible to prevent the ANC from intensifying a sabotage
campaign in South Africa by shuting the group's military wing
out of neighboring black countries, saying, "...if we deny
them bases in our neighboring states either through the
cooperation of the states themselves .. .or by military action
against them, then they have only two ways to come in, by
air or by sea. It makes it almost impossible for them."
Therefore, preemption to delay or destroy an insurgent
military capability is an important consideration.
Second, and related to attempts to shut
guerrillas out of neighboring states, South African cross-
border operations are intended to make a state which harbors
anti-South African groups pay a price for their actions.
...any government so misguided as to offer its terri-
tory as a launching pad for terrorism against the
south must accept the inevitable consequences ... there
has never been any doubt about these consequences.
It is the clear and repeated stated policy of the South
African government that it will take whatever measures
are necessary to counter political violence. That
policy includes striking at terrorists wherever they
may be. The internationally recognized right of
preemptive strike is a firmly established element of
South Africa's defense strategy. 250
In this context, then, crossborder operations are used not
only to hinder guerrilla operations, but to serve as a warning
to neighboring states not to harbor anti-South African
groups through offensive deterrence.
Third, crossborder operations are intended
to punish guerrilla groups and neighboring countries for
attacks conducted within South Africa. The Republic has
stated that lack of response to terrorist attack merely
encourages further attacks, and it is against this background
that South Africa has warned its neighbors against providing
sanctuary from which these attacks can be made. Therefore,
crossborder attacks in response to attacks on South Africa
are another use of this strategy.
A fourth rationale for pursuing crossborder
operations is to demonstrate to South Africa's white popu-
lation that action can be and is taken against the forces
arrayed against the country. While this remains more an
implied than a stated strategy, the National Party government
from the time of Verwoerd has remained concerned about the
confidence of the white population. Therefore, policies
such as the growing strength and successful employment of
the SADF, the growing independence of the South African arms
industry, and the general ability of the country to "go it
alone" are well reported in the South African press. As
General Malan has stated, "no self-respecting country that
had the welfare and security of its people at heart could
allow terrorist organizations to try and jeopardize its
A fifth reason for the use of crossborder
operations is in the "hot pursuit" of guerrillas who have
carried out attacks on South Africa or South African forces,
and have fled into a neighboring state. South Africa main-
tains it has a legal right under international law to con-
duct "hot pursuit" operations as part of its right of
Finally, crossborder operations have been
conducted in support of political goals, such as in assisting
anti-government guerrillas in neighboring states, in support
of South Africa's campaigns of destabilization, and to damage
the economic infrastructure of other countries to ensure
their continued dependence upon South Africa.
(2) Types of Crossborder Operations . Just as
South Africa sees a number of different purposes associated
with the conduct of crossborder operations, so too does the
Republic utilize a number of different types of crossborder
operations. These can be classified as follows:
1. Reconnaissance flights over neighboring countries, such
as those conducted routinely over the southern Angolan
provinces of Mocamedes, Huila, and Cuando-Cubango . The
purpose of this type of operations is to gather information
about guerrilla bases and movements. On at least one occa-
sion these flights have resulted in an air-to-air encounter
with the Angolan Air Force, resulting in the destruction
of an Angolan MIG-21 by an SAAF MIRAGE.
2. Air attacks and associated battle damage assessment
flights, either as operations in their own right, such as
the air raid on Maputo, or in support of ground operations,
such as during various operations in Southern Angola.
3. Small scale, commando type ground actions by the
Army, such as the raid into Maseru, Lesotho in December
19 82, or the dramatic long-range attack on the Petrangol
State oil refinery in Luanda in November 19 81. These opera-
tions are conducted by a combination of air, sea, and land
4. Large-scale, combined arms operations in neighboring
countries, conducted so far only in Angola. Recently, the
forces involved in these types of operations have grown
tremendously in size and capability. For example, Operation
Protea in August 19 81 involved the largest mobilization of
the SADF since World War II. The force involved was made
up of three infantry brigades totalling 11,000 men, three
squadrons of MIRAGE and BUCCANEER aircraft, 90 OLIFANT tanks,
heavy artillery, and 250 armored cars.
c. Maritime Strategy
Landward defense has always received the major
share of the attention and budget due to South Africa's
perception of the threats it faced. Due to the lack of naval
capabilities among South Africa's neighbors, it was logical
that the Army and Air Force take precedence.
However, the role assigned to the Navy has
changed the most drastically of any branch of the SADF since
19 75. This change has been due more to necessity rather
than choice. First, the unilateral abrogation of the Simons-
town agreement by Britain in 19 75 meant South Africa no
longer needed to maintain a British style, blue water, anti-
submarine warfare oriented naval force. Second, the 19 77
arms embargo cost South Africa its sources of larger naval
vessels and submarines, and caused the navy to turn to
smaller, missile-armed craft which could be domestically
Under these changing conditions, the SAN has
evolved into a force oriented towards coastal defense,
harbor security, support of counterinsurgency and cross-
border operations, and protection of South Africa's offshore
economic zone. Protection of the Cape Sea route was
renounced in 19 7 8 as a response to the UN arms embargo,
although South Africa has since offered to reassume this
responsibility as a consideration for Western favor. In
19 81 the Navy added a Marine force to perform duties asso-
ciated with harbor security and counterinsurgency operations.
2 . Political Actions
South Africa has instituted a number of actions
internally and externally which can be grouped under the
general heading of political actions. Some of these actions
were taken in response to a threat. Others were intended
to deal with perceived constraints. Some have been achieved
through military action, but are still part of a political
a. Effective Mobilization of Manpower for Defense
As discussed previously, manpower shortages
affect the SADF ' s military capabilities in a number of ways.
The nation's limited white manpower reserves limit the strength
of the SADF, causes competition between the military and
civilian sectors for available skills, and place a heavy
burden of military service on the white male population.
In order to efficiently utilize the existing
manpower pool, and to increase the size of that pool, the
government of South Africa has taken a number of positive
steps to ensure the manpower requirements of the SADF
can be met.
(1) Conscription . In 19 82, a new law affecting
National Service was enacted. In this law, National Service
requirements were increased from 240 total days to 720
total days spread over 12 years instead of over eight. In
addition, all men below age 55 who had not previously been
drafted or who had only one year of National Service became
liable for 30 days basic training and 12 days call-up a
year until age 55. As a result, it has been estimated that
the pool of white males available for call-up would increase
by 800,000. " See Table 6 for a survey of the changing
service requirements for white males.
(2) Utilization of Non-Whites . In recent years,
the South African government has taken steps to expand the
participation of other population groups in the military.
As already mentioned, coloureds have served in the SADF
since 1963, when the Cape Coloured Corps was reestablished.
By 19 77, the government had accepted in principal the recom-
mendation of a special commission of coloured affairs which
called for National Service and a cadet force for coloureds.
In the creation of an Indian training battalion in 1975,
Asians were also admitted into the SADF. However, induction
of men of these groups remains limited due to shortages in
facilities. In 1983, for example, the SADF accepted 153
n c r
of 60 8 Asians, and 1600 of 2300 coloured volunteers.
The arming of blacks has proceeded at an
even slower pace. It was noted previously that, in the
1970 's, while Minister of Defense P. W. Botha was opposed
to the involvement of blacks in combat training. However,
by 19 75, training for black volunteers had been instituted
in the SADF. By 19 78 the Army's black complement had grown
to battalion strength, and the 21st South African Infantry
Battalion of 515 men with white officers had been formed.
This battalion has served on the Angolan border with
In addition to the 21st, the SADF has also
trained six ethnic battalions of Namibians, which have also
served border duty. These battalions now form the SWATF.
Finally, the SADF has been involved in the training of the
defense forces of the 'independent" homelands , which, in some
cases, are closely integrated with the Army's counterinsur-
The issue still to be reoslved with regard
to the inclusions of non-whites in the SADF is that of
required National Service for Asians and coloureds now that
these groups have received their "political dispensations"
under the new constitution. In this question, Botha is
faced with a political tightrope. On one hand, he will be
pressured by whites to include these groups in mandatory
service once they have been given political rights. On
the other, prominent coloured and Asian groups, such as the
Coloured Labor Party, which will have to support the new
Constitution if it is to have any credibility, have already
rejected mandatory military service until "all people are
free in a new South Africa."
(3) Immigrants . As the manpower demands of
the SADF increased, the government also began to look towards
immigrants as a source of men for military service. Until
recently, an immigrant to South Africa could declare he did
not want South African citizenship and thereby not be eligi-
ble for conscription without losing permanent residence
status. Pressures to involve immigrants in the SADF began
in the 19 70 's. In 19 78, the South African Citizenship Act
was amended to reduce the period required for naturalization
from five years to two to make naturalized citizens available
to the Defense Force sooner after their arrival.
In 19 84, the final step was taken in closing
what was perceived as the immigrant loophole with the intro-
duction of the South African Citizen Amendment Bill. Under
this bill, all aliens who have been permanent residents of
South Africa for more than five years obtain South African
citizenship automatically by naturalization. In addition,
the bill also provides that such aliens may declare they do
not want to become naturalized citizens, but by doing so they
will lose their permanent residence benefits. "Now immigrants
will have to make the same sacrifices as South African
. . ,,260
b. The Search for Security
As South Africa is a moderate sized power,
seemingly surrounded by potential enemies, a common element
of all past South African defense policies has been the
search for allies. As previously discussed, South Africa
has made strenuous efforts to find foreign allies. Since
I960, significant -resources have been expended in enlarging
and modernizing naval communications, docking, and repair
facilities in hopes of attracting allies and gaining entrance
into a Western defense alliance. During the same period,
South Africa made attempts to persuade moderate African
states to enter into regional security arrangements, and to
advance the idea of southern hemisphere security among poten-
tial Latin American allies.
Undoubtedly, South Africa's preference would
still be a defense alliance with the West. The advantages
of such an arrangement would be the deterrent effect it would
have on the Soviet Union and Cuba, and on the anticipated
"Total Onslaught" directed against South Africa. It would
also show black Africa that white rule in South Africa was
underwritten by the Western powers. Finally, such an alliance
would have a beneficial effect on white confidence within the
Republic, and give South Africa access to Western arms and
military technology. However, it is apparent that potential
Western allies would demand a higher price in the form of
internal change for such an arrangement than South Africa
would be willing to pay. Only the prospects of imminent
collapse or a massive invasion would cause South Africa to
agree to any major dismantling of apartheid.
While South Africa has apparently written off
any chance of a closer alignment with the West for the time
being, the prospects for regional arrangements appear to be
improving. South African efforts in this direction have
followed two different tracks. The more recent of these is
Botha's Constellation of States, which was originally in-
tended to include eight to ten southern African countries.
This mainly economic approach also hoped for positive
spillover into political and security functions. At present,
the Constellation plan seems to have narrowed to include
only South Africa and the homelands.
The other track was perceived before the Con-
stellation, and can be seen as a logical continuation of
programs aimed at black states beginning in 19 70 with the
offer of non-aggression pacts by South Africa, and continuing
through the Outward Movment and Detente programs. These
programs of contact with other African countries on the basis
of economic and technical programs have continued at low
levels all along. Further, as recent events have shown, when
South Africa added destabilization in earnest to its programs
in the 1980 's, it was able to extract even greater contacts
from its neighbors. The Nkomati Accord and Cahora Bassa
treaty with Mozambique and the reported non-aggression pact
with Swaziland are good examples of this new Outward Move-
ment conducted by force of arms.
(1) Background . In early 1983, The New York
Times quoted P. W. Botha as saying that South Africa would
consider giving aid to anti-communist guerrillas in southern
Africa if they asked for it, saying that if "fellow Africans
were threatened by the evils of communism, then South Africa
would assist them if assistance was required." Further,
in the same interview, he said South Africa would be willing
to enter into non-aggression pacts with neighbors, irrespec-
tive of their political systems. These agreements would not
allow either country to be used as a point of attack for
insurgents. Finally, Mr. Botha denied reports South Africa
was trying to destabilize governments in neighboring coun-
tries, but hinted that, if neighboring countries allowed
terrorists to use their territories as points from which to
T C "3
attack, South Africa could do the same.
This interview provided an insight into
South Africa's destabilization programs. The instruments
used by the Republic in carrying out these programs were
aid to an ti- communist guerrillas and the use of South
African territory as points from which to attack. South
Africa's goal was to push the bases of potential adversary
groups back from its borders: thus the offer of mutual
The pressures on South Africa grew in the
19 70's as its neighbors acted in support of internal and
external opposition to apartheid. South Africa rightly saw
these pressures as attempts to destabilize the Republic.
According to one South African analyst, the ANC made no
secret of its aims to seize power in South Africa, and six
black states in the region, Angola, Zambia, Mozambique,
Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Tanzania, were members of the
frontline group dedicated to assist in this attempt.
However, South Africa also came to see destabilization as a
two-way street, and became involved in actions aimed at
improving its own security at the expense of its neighbors.
As one observer of South Africa wrote, "The South African
political system is under challenge, and the challengers of
such a powerful system must accept the consequences of
'declaring war 1 against it... there should therefore be no
surprise when Pretoria flexes its military and economic
muscle against weaker organized opposition."
(2) The Destabilization Program . The destabili-
zation of its neighbors has become one of the most important
South African concerns since 19 78. However, it was in 19 81
that this program apparently came to the fore. The increas-
ing importance of this program was probably due to three
separate considerations. First, the end of the 19 70's
brought P. W. Botha to power, which had the effect of in-
creasing the military influence, through the new importance
attached to the SSC, in the South African government. In
addition, Botha came to power with much of his potential
opposition discredited by the scandal which deposed Vorster.
This allowed Botha much leeway in the implementation of the
Total National Strategy.
Second, the defeat of the South African
supported forces of moderation in the form of Bishop Muzrwa
and the victory of Mugabe in Zimbabwe completed the encircle-
ment of South Africa and Namibia by potentially unfriendly
countries. Finally, the events of the 19 70 's had shown
South Africa that not only could the west and the moderate
African countries not be trusted, as exhibited by their
failure to support South Africa in Angola in 19 75, but that
the SADF was fully capable of handling itself in confrontation
with black armies and the Cubans.
While crossborder operations from Namibia
into Angola had been conducted for some time, 19 81 brought a
new dimension to the use of these operations. Operation
Protea in that year was more than a campaign to harass SWAPO.
It was a major invasion of southern Angola which established
South African military supremacy over much of southern Angola,
and allowed UNITA to expand its operations against the Angolan
o C\ a.
government. After 19 81 it seems likely that South African
actions in Angola were not aimed at overthrowing the MPLA
regime or at installing a friendly UNITA government in its
place. It is more likely South Africa's interests lay in
economic dislocation aimed at keeping Angola on the defensive.
For its part, Zambia has been described by
South Africa as a center for subversion and as a "Marxist
satellite state engaged in Soviet-inspired conspiracy against
2 6 8
the Republic." In response to the alleged Zambian threat,
South Africa has reportedly trained up to 600 Zambian dissi-
dents and been involved in at least two conspiracies in that
country since 19 80. In addition, South Africa has also
engaged in economic destabilization against Zambia. Since
19 80 direct attacks have been made against Zambian economic
targets from the Caprivi Strip, including one in April 1982
by two battalions of the SADF resulting in a decline in
agricultural production and a deterrence of mineral pros-
pecting in the area. In July 19 82, southern Zambia was
declared a disaster zone, partly due to these deprivations.
Most incidents involving Botswana have
been clashes between Botsawanan and South African forces
around the Caprivi Strip, and attacks on South African
refugrees in Botswana. Protests by Botswana have elicited
little response from South Africa or, in some cases, simply
flat denial that any incident ever occurred. In spite of
these incidents, Botswana has not suffered the same kinds of
attacks that other neighbors of South Africa have. One
possible reason for this is that Botswana keeps tight control
over South African refugees and is careful to discourage
any attempts either to smuggle arms across the border to
South Africa, or to allow armed attacks against South Africa
or Bophuthatswana to originate in Botswana.
Zimbabwe is a special case for South Africa.
It is the only state in the region in which there appeared
there was a chance a stable, multi-racial society could be
established. It has also been seen by South Africa to be
the only state in the region outside of the Republic capable
of becoming an industrial power. Shortly after Zimbabwean
independence, South Africa transported a number of former
black Rhodesian troops and ZIPRA guerrillas to camps in the
northern Transvaal, from where the Ndebele language "Radio
Truth" operates. In Zimbabwe, South Africa has also appar-
ently been involved in sabotage, such as the destruction of
two-thirds of the country's air force at Gweru in July 19 82,
and the heavy handed use of economic pressures, such as the
withdrawal of railroad equipment needed to haul the country's
record harvest in 19 81. South Africa could hardly deny
involvement in the so-called "month of the hawks" in December
1982, when the destruction of the oil depot at Beria by
commandos, sabotage to the rail route between Maputo and
Chicualacuala, and a suposed labor dispute on the South
African railway lines to Zimbabwe all combined to put a
serious economic squeeze on Zimbabwe. While fuel supplies
eventually reached the country , South Africa made a point
of just how much pressure it could apply.
In Lesotho, collusion between the Lesotho
Liberation Army (LLA) and South Africa is an open secret.
LLA personnel shelter in South Africa and must cross its
territory to make their attacks. South Africa has also
conducted crossborder operations into Lesotho against pur-
ported ANC targets, such as the 9 December 19 82 raid on
Maseru in which 37 people were killed. Economic pressures
on Lesotho, which as a land locked country entirely surrounded
by South Africa is highly vulnerable, have resulted in the
expulsion of ANC personnel.
Swaziland has, like Botswana, always been
careful in not giving unnecessary offense to South Africa.
Alarmed by the Maseru raid, Swaziland reacted by rounding
up ANC refugees and either expelling them or removing them
to a detention camp at Makerns .
Finally, South Africa's attitude towards
Mozambique has been ambivalent. On one hand, when Mozambique
achieved independence South Africa moved to help run Port
Maputo and to upgrade its facilities. In addition, South
Africa continues to accept 60,000 Mozambiquan workers,
remitting up to $30 million a year in foreign exchange. On
the other hand, however, South Africa has conducted raids
into Mozambique, such as those in January 19 81 on Matola
and in May 1983 on Maputo itself. Further, there is little
doubt South Africa supports the Mozambique National Resistance
(MNR) . At the time of Zimbabwe's independence, the MNR
headquarters, personnel, and radio station was moved from
Zimbabwe to a camp at Phalaborwa in the northern Transvaal.
Since its connection was established with South Africa, the
MNR has concentrated not on establishing "liberated zones,"
but in the disruption of Mozambique's economy. It has con-
centrated its attacks on the rail line from Maputo to Zimbabwe,
on the oil pipeline and railway connection between Beria
and Mutri , and on the rail and road routes from Malawi to
the sea. These attacks, coupled with the current drought in
southern Africa and the mismanagement of the Mozambique
economy have all but ruined Mozambique, and in great part
led to the conditions which caused the consumation of the
Nkomati accord between that country and South Africa.
(3) The Benefits of Destabilization . In con-
ducting its widespread campaign of destabilization against
its neighbors, South Africa achieves a variety of benefits.
1. Improved security for South Africa as the countries
on its borders are put on the defensive and are unlikely
to be able to conduct any type of coordinated conventional
attack on South Africa. In addition, potential guerrilla
groups are pushed back from South Africa's borders, losing
support as countries such as Mozambique can no longer afford
the cost of supporting them imposed by South Africa.
2. Keeping South Africa's neighbors weak and economically
dependent on South Africa. Disruption of economies also
serves to discredit Marxism in Africa, thereby short-
circuiting the "Marxist onslaught." Finally, keeping its
neighbors weak and dependent on South Africa brings about
P. W. Botha's Constellation by other than voluntary means.
3. The negotiation of the long-offered non-aggression
pacts with black states is achieved. These pacts have been
signed with Mozambique and Swaziland, and high level nego-
tiations have been underway with Angola for over a year.
These pacts not only increase South Africa's security, but
give the Republic a measure of long-desired international
legitimacy. It is not coincidence that a major Botha trip
through various European countries followed on the heels
of the Nkomati/Cahora Bassa agreements.
d. The South African Nuclear Program
Whether or not South Africa has a "bomb in the
basement" has been the subject of much speculation since the
late 1970 's. The alleged detection of a nuclear explosion
in the South Atlantic in 19 79 has alternately been blamed
on India, South Africa, Israel, and Israel and South Africa
acting in concert. Conflicting statements by South African
government officials and the country's refusal to sign the
nuclear non-proliferation treaty serve only to further muddy
the issue. However, on at least one aspect of South African
nuclear development there is agreement. That is, that South
Africa has the capacity to design and produce nuclear
Taken within the context of the Total National
Strategy, there could be two possible answers to the question
of whether South Africa does or does not have nuclear
weapons. First, evidence indicating possession of such a
weapon could be a South African hoax, designed to instill
doubt in the minds of potential enemies. Second, that South
Africa does indeed have nuclear weapons . With the Total
Strategy in mind, it seems likely that if South Africa
were able to add yet another weapon to its arsenal it would
do so, and if it were threatened enough, it would use it.
If it is assumed that South Africa possesses
nuclear weapons, it becomes necessary to speculate on how
and when it might use them. The following possible employment
options are possible:
1. To meet the worst case conventional scenario, that of
a massive Soviet intervention in support of groups opposing
2. To use in a maritime environment against forces possi-
bly blockading South Africa.
3. To use as a demonstration deterrent.
4. To break up large enemy troop concentrations threaten-
ing South Africa's industrial and population centers.
5. To use as a weapon of last resort, if the survival of
Afrikanerdom were threatened.
6. To use as a tactical battlefield weapon in conventional
7. To use as a strategic deterrent to threaten its
neighbors in the event of attack.
3 . Economic Actions
There are three main thrusts to South Africa's
economic actions taken in support of strategic doctrine.
These are to maintain government integration with the economic
sector as called for by the Total National Strategy, to
increase the economic dependence of southern Africa on South
Africa, and to ensure self-sufficiency in strategic materials,
i.e., oil .
a. The Economy and the Government
Much has already been said concerning the
importance of the economy to the South African government
and the attempts of the government to further utilize the
business sector through the Total National Strategy. The
government relies on the private sector to increase economic
integration with Western economies, to provide contacts with
Western technologies and capital, to provide skill and capital
for the development of the Homelands and for economic con-
tacts with the rest of Africa, and to provide the research
and development for the growing arms industry. In addition,
within the context of the Constellation of States, the strength
of the economic sector is vital to provide economic links
within the southern Africa region.
In order to encourage the participation of business
in required programs, the government, under the Twelve-Point
Plan, has committed itself to a free enterprise economy.
Economic growth is stimulated by government action, with
recent trends towards a welcome deregulation of the economic
sector. Government action has also encouraged foreign
investment through programs such as the 19 79 introduction
of the financial Rand, designed to permit nonresidents to
import investment capital.
The Botha government realizes it requires the
assistance of the economic sector to carry out its programs,
and business has responded to this challenge.
b. The Economic Dependence of Southern Africa
As seen previously, a major thrust of South
African foreign policy for over two decades has been the
attempts of the government to build economic ties to other
African states and hope for positive spillover in other
areas, such as political and security. To this end, South
Africa has offered aid, capital, and skilled assistance to
neighboring countries. It has also used the force of the
most powerful economy on the continent to increase the
dependence of other countries .on the South African economy.
South Africa's regional domination is as per-
vasive economically as it is militarily. The Republic pro-
duces 77% of the Gross National Product of Africa south of
Zaire and Tanzania, and makes up two thirds of the output
of coal, iron, wheat, maize, electrical power, and rail
transport. About 90% of the regions' energy consumption
occurs in South Africa, and South Africa's per capita GNP
of $2200 a year is three times the regional average.
The trade of all SADCC countries depends heavily
on South Africa. More importantly, this dependence is all
one way. South Africa has no reciprocal dependence on its
neighbors, as its trade is widely diversified, exporting
less to all of Africa than to Britain or Switzerland and
importing an insignficant amount from its neighbors.
As a result of the economic power of South Africa,
the dream of an anti-South African regional economic community
will remain a dream. South Africa will continue to dominate
the region's economic activity, and will continue to possess
and use powerful economic weapons against its neighbors in
the context of the Total National Strategy.
c. Self-Sufficiency in Strategic Materials
As the 19 73 Arab oil embargo pointed out, South
Africa was vulnerable to disruption in its energy supply.
Since the enactment of that embargo, South Africa has taken
steps to reduce its dependence on foreign sources of energy.
These steps have been varied, and include several major
The first response to the embargo was stockpiling
of oil. As previously noted, in 1983 it was speculated that
South Africa had amassed a strategic oil reserve equal to
three years normal consumption. This meant that South
Africa had more oil in reserve relative to the size of its
economy than any other oil importing nation.
Second, South Africa has continued to seek
domestic sources of oil. For several years the government
has financed the exploration of the SOEKOR company, which
has been drilling both within the country and in offshore
waters. In 19 82, these efforts resulted in the discovery
of a "promising" find at an offshore site south of Mossel
Bay in the Indian Ocean. However, the search for a
commercially exploitable discovery has still failed to reveal
a reliable source of oil.
To counteract the lack of domestic oil sources,
South Africa has turned to alternative forms of energy. As
a large producer of coal, the Republic has established a
large coal fired power industry. Additionally, new sources
of hydroelectric power have been obtained through deals with
neighboring countries for South African investment, such as
the Cahora Bassa project in Mozambique. Finally, South
Africa has long been involved in programs to obtain oil from
coal. In 1950, SASOL I was constructed, and production of
4500-5000 barrels of oil a day was begun in 1955. SASOL II,
announced in 19 74, was recently scheduled to come on line
with a capacity of 45,000 barrels a day. In 19 79, further
plans were announced for the construction of SASOL III.
SASOL I and II are expected to provide one third of the
country's fuel needs by the mid-19 80' s.
South Africa has also turned to nuclear power.
A nuclear power station was begun at Koeburg in 19 76, con-
sisting of two French-built 922 megawatt reactors. In
spite of sabotage to the installation in 19 82, the Koeburg
station was able to start up on 14 March 19 84.
Finally, in its quest for energy sources, South
Africa has turned to new technologies beyond the coal to oil
conversion process. In 1981, it was announced that the
country would install the largest solar energy system in
the southern hemisphere at Betty's Bay to power telecommuni-
South African strategic doctrine developed in response
to a set of threats, constraints, and assets which are
inherent in the nature of the South African physical, social,
economic, political, and defense situation. While the roots
of this doctrine can be traced back to the 1950* s and 19 60's,
its present character has been shaped primarily by rapid
changes in the country's position caused by the increasing
pressures of the 1970 's.
The pattern of South Africa's actions over the past
36 years is one of both constancy and change. The constants
of strategy derive from enduring constraints and threats,
such as manpower limitations, the country's population
makeup, and its geographic position, and in the white commit-
ment to apartheid. Changes have been linked to new percep-
tions of threats, assets, or constraints. These include the
growing strength of the SADF , changes in the political shape
of southern Africa, and the success of some of South Africa's
policies, such as destabilization.
Despite many flaws in South African strategic thinking
over the past twenty-five years, South Africa has shown it-
self able to rapidly adapt to changes in its position and to
the threats and opportunities it perceives. These changes
have ranged from the disruption of oil supplies, to growing
international pressures, to almost overnight change in the
governments of southern Africa. Especially since the
assumption of power of P. W. Botha, South Africa has acted
and reacted to new threats and changing circumstances force-
fully, vigorously, and independently, and South African
policies have become increasingly tough, flexible, and
aggressive. Based on the apparent success of these poli-
cies, it seems likely that in the short term, South Africa
will move in new, more independent directions. The impli-
cations for the West are clear. As the Republic perceives
its best opportunities are related to "going it alone," and
as its capability to do so increases, Western countries
will have less opportunity to influence the direction of
South Africa's policies.
For South Africa, in spite of its new aggressiveness
and growth in capability, as long as apartheid remains the
main factor in the country's ideology and institutions, the
range of choices available to planners will become more
limited, and the use of the military will probably become
even more attractive.
THE 12-PQINT PLAN
The 12-point plan, as spelled out by Mr. P. W. Botha
in his address to the National Party Congress in Durban on
15 August 19 79, reads as follows:
Point 1: The recognition and acceptance of the existence
of raultinationalism and of minorities in the
Republic of South Africa.
Point 2: The acceptance of vertical differentiation
with a built-in principle of self-determination
at as many levels as possible.
Point 3: The establishment of constitutional structures
which make provision for the complete inde-
pendence of the various black nations in the
RSA, meaningful consolidation of the black
states and areas and the acceptance of a
socio-economic programme directed at the
development of such black states and areas.
Point 4: The willingness to cooperate as equals and to
consult on matters of common interest, with a
balance between the rights of the individual
and those of the community, and the removal of
hurtful unnecessary discriminatory measures.
Point 5: The acceptance of the principle that where at
all possible each population group should have
its own schools and live in its own community
as being fundamental to social contentment.
In my view this is not discrimination, it is
the recognition of each others' rights. The
preparedness to consult as equals on matters
of common interest with a sound balance between
the rights of the individual and those of the
Point 6: I have said that those discriminatory measures
that are unnecessary and create bad feeling
should be removed. . .But I am not in favour of
a system of compulsory integration in South
Africa, and I am not in favour of endangering
my own people's right to self-determination.
Point 7: The recognition of economic interdependence
and the properly planned utilisation of
Point 8: Development of peaceful constellation of
Southern Afircan states with respect for
each other's cultures, traditions and ideals.
To talk of a federation or a confederation at
this stage would, in my view, be premature.
A pact between states becomes possible only
when the will is there. One first has to make
all those states equal through independence,
and then leave it to them to decide what they
want to belong to.
Point 9: South Africa's firm determination to defend
itself against interference from outside
in every possible way. And allow me to say
here tonight, not boastfully, but we are
better able tonight to defend South Africa
militarily than ever before in the country's
history. And I want to warn those who think
that we practise our politics from a position
of weakness: We are not speaking from a
position of weakness, we are speaking from a
position of decency. If they want to test us,
our strength, we will hit back for the sake
of South Africa's self-respect.
Point 10: As far as possible, a policy of neutrality in
the conflict between super powers, with
priority given to Southern African interests .
Point 11: The maintenance of effective decision-making
by the State, which rests on a strong Defence
Force to guarantee orderly government as well
as efficient, clean administration. Clean
administration is essential at all levels.
And strong security forces with contented members
are of the utmost importance in today's dangerous
Point 12: The maintenance of free enterprise as the
basis of our economic and financial policy.
This also presupposes the most effective
training and utilisation of manpower.
MISSIONS OF THE SADF AS DEFINED IN THE
19 82 WHITE PAPER ON DEFENSE
1. Maintain a balanced and prepared land force
in order to discourage or repulse conventional,
semi- conventional or insurgency attacks
against the RSA and SWA.
1. Create goodwill
and establish &
groups in areas
where an Army
2. Conventional war-
fare training to
of the conventional
Preparation of a COIN
Force for anti-terrorist
operations in RSA.
Area protection by Com-
mandos for protection,
warning and initial
additional forces arrive.
Support of the SAP in
1. Ensure safety of
2. Provide air cover.
3. Air traffic, air
defense, and air
air space control.
4. Point defense of
vital areas by
1. Provide air support to
the SA army, SAP and
SAR Railway Police during
COIN and other Security
2. Ensure safety of SWA
3. Conduct pre-emptive
4. Provide air reconnais-
1. Carry out air-
sea rescue in
and Indian Ocean.
2. Provide assist-
ance to other
3. Air support for
Navy 1. Ensure right of RSA
to use surrounding
waters and deny
their use to
2. Safeguard RSA's
3. Defense of RSA
4. Maritime recon-
offshore areas .
5. Exercise of
authority in terri-
torial waters and
6. Exercise right of
Training of marine
element and rotation
of the units to the
national key point
harbors and harbor
MILITARY EQUIPMENT PRODUCED IN SOUTH AFRICA
MB-326M IMPALA 1/
MB-326K IMPALA II
AML- 60/90 (Pan-
Ordered from France for local
assembly by Atlas; eventually
to be totally manufactured in
South Africa; run of 100
Built under license from
Aermacchi of Italy.
General purpose light transport;
derivative of Italian Aermacchi
ARMSCOR announces in September
1983 that South Africa possessed
the capability to produce heli-
copters and that Atlas aviation
would be organized to build them
in the near .future. 278
Israeli RESHEF class; three
were built in Haifa by Israel,
eight additional to be built
9 meter patrol boats
800 vehicles produced under
French license 1961-72; South
African version of French
Designed and manufactured in
South Africa; combination
armored car and armored per-
sonnel carrier; first introduced
Designed and manufactured in
South Africa; Mine resistant
armor and wheels; HIPPO is
South African police version.
G5 155mm Towed
G6 155mm Self- Krygkor
Medium towed howitzer
Introduced September 1982.
Designed in Canada by now
defunct Space Research
South Africa claims all that
remains of its obsolete
CENTURIONS are the hull and
turret, and that it has been
upgunned, re-engined, and
equipped with improved fire
control, transmission, drive,
and suspension . ^ 80
Based on captured Soviet BM-21;
designed and produced in
FN 7.62mm and Rl
R4 5.56mm Asault
KUKRI V3B Air-to-
Manufactured in South Africa
under Belgian license.
Based on Israeli GALIL
Developed and built in France
as CRCTALE, but 85% of research
and development funded by
Based on Israeli GABRIEL with
equivalent performance. How
much of SKERPIOEN is built
domestically is unclear.
SIDEWINDER type missile;
developed in South Africa,
made available for export
in 1982. 28J
WEAPONS/EQUIPMENT FROM EXTERNAL SOURCES
Hawker-S idde ley
Sixteen Delivered in
Dassault MIRAGE III FRANCE
Dassault MIRAGE FRANCE
Hawker- S iddeley
SHACKLETOWN MR- 3
Have undergone service
life extension in
9 delivered 1969,
Dassault MIRAGE III
BAC VISCOUNT 781
Delivered in 1963.
McDonne 1- Douglas
Rockwell T-6 HARVARD
Westland HAS-1 WASP
MINISTER OF DEFENSE
class Fast Attack
FORD class Large
TON class Patrol
Unconfirmed reports of
an additional 20
delivered in 1975.
16 delivered 1966-67.
20 delivered 1970-71;
20 delivered 1975.
Built at Haifa. Addi-
tional units have been
built by South Africa
South Africa; 168
delivered from UK be-
tween 1955-59; 100
sold to Switzerland
1960-61; 32 received
from Israel 1962; 41
received from Jordan
1974; 60 obtained from
India via an arms
40 delivered 1950.
FERRET Armored Car
M3A1 Armored Car
Delivered 1956-60. Now
used by South African
25pdr. Field Gun
SEXTON 25pdr Self-
5.5" Field Gun
155mn Towed Gun
Obtained early 1960*s;
manufactured by British
firm under license
M67 90mm, 6pdr, UK
17pdr Antitank Guns
CACTUS (CROTALE) SAM FRANCE
Three Batteries delivered
UK system; obtained from
ENTAC MGM-32 Anti-
MAGIC R-550 Air-to- FRANCE N.A. Reported to be on
Air Missile order.
AS-20/30 Air-to- FRANCE 60 Delivered 1965-66.
1. Harold D. Nelson, South Africa: A Country Study
(Washington, D.C.: American University, 1981), p. 350.
2. Kenneth W. Grundy, Defense Legislation and Communal
Politics: The Evolution of a White South African Nation
as Reflected in the Controversty Over the Assignment of
Armed Forces Abroad, 1912-1976 (Athens: Ohio University
Press, 1978) , pp. 23-24.
3. Kenneth W. Grundy, The Rise of the South African
Security Establishment: An Essay on the Changing Locus
of State Power (Braamfontein: South African Institute
of Strategic Affairs, 1981) , p. 2.
4. John de St. Jorre, "South Africa: Up Against the
World," Foreign Policy , 28 (Fall 1977), p. 53.
5. Sam C. Nolutshungu, South Africa in Africa: A Study
in Ideology and Foreign Policy (New York: Africana
Publishing Co., 1975), pp. 46-47.
6. Robert S. Jaster, South Africa's Narrowing Security
Options (London: International Institute of Strategic
Studies, 1980) , p. 6.
8. James Barber, South Africa's Foreign Policy 1945-1970
(London: Oxford University Press, 1973), p. 82.
10. Robert S. Jaster, South Africa's Narrowing Security
Options , p . 7 .
11. James Barber, South Africa's Foreign Policy 1945-1970 ,
12. Robert S. Jaster, South Africa's Narrowing Security
Options , p . 7 .
13. Kenneth W. Grundy, The Rise of the South African Security
E stablishment: An Essay on the Changing Locus of State
Power , p. 2 .
14. Robert S. Jaster, South Africa's Narrowing Security
Options , p. 6 .
15. James Barber, South Africa's Foreign Policy 1945-1970 ,
16. Robert S. Jaster, South Africa's Narrowing Security
Options , p. 10.
17. James Barber, South Africa's Foreign Policy 1945-1970 ,
p . 126 .
18. Robert S. Jaster, South Africa's Narrowing Security
Options , p. 10.
20. James Barber, South Africa's Foreign Policy 1945-1970 ,
21. R. W. Johnson, How Long Will South Africa Survive
(New York: Oxford University Press, 1977) , p. 129.
22. James Barber, South Africa's Foreign Policy 1945-1970 ,
23. Robert S. Jaster, South Africa's Narrowing Security
Options , p. 11.
24. James Barber, South Africa's Foreign Policy 1945-1970 ,
p. 231 .
25. Deon Geldenhuys, "South Africa's Regional Policy," in
Michael Clough, ed. , Changing Realities in Southern
Africa: Implications for American Policy (Berkley:
Institute of International Studies, 1982) , p. 129.
26. Ibid, pp. 130-131.
27. Deon Geldenhuys, "South Africa's Regional Policy,"
29. See, for example, John Seiler, "South African Perspectives
and Responses to External Pressures," Journal of Modern
African Studies 13, 3 (1975), pp. 455-458.
30. Deon Geldenhuys, "South Africa's Regional Policy,"
31. Ibid, p. 136.
32. James Barber, South Africa's Foreign Policy 1945-1970 ,
33. James Barber, South Africa's Foreign Policy 1945-1970 ,
34. Robert S. Jaster, "South Africa's Narrowing Security
Options , " p. 11 .
36. James Barber, South African Foreign Policy, 1945-1970 ,
37. Robert S. Jaster, "South Africa's Narrowing Security
Options , " p. 12 .
38. Michael T. Schieber, "Apartheid Under Pressure: South
Africa's Military Strength in a Changing Political Con-
text," Africa Today , January-March 19 76, p. 30.
39. Robert S. Jaster, "South Africa's Narrowing Security
Options , " p. .12 .
40. James Barber, South African Foreign Policy, 1945-1970 ,
41. South African Defense Policies as Reflected in the White
Papers 1965-79 , DIA Report DDB-2610-32-80 of June 1980,
p. 1 .
42. Robert S. Jaster, "South Africa's Narrowing Security
Options," p. 16.
44. Ibid, pp. 16-17.
45. Ibid, p. 17.
46. Robert S. Jaster, "South Africa's Narrowing Security
Options, pp. 12-13.
47. Ibid, p. 13.
4 8 . South African Defense Policies as Reflected in the
White Papers 1965-79 , p. 3.
50. Robert S. Jaster, South Africa's Narrowing Security
Options , p. 13.
52. Chester A. Crocker, South Africa's Defense Posture:
Coping With Vulnerability (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown
University, 1981), pp. 8-16.
53. Ibid, p. 42.
54. Robert S. Jaster, "South Africa's Narrowing Security
Options , " p. 14 .
55. Harold D. Nelson, ed., South Africa: A Country Study ,
56. "South African Defense Philosophy and Policies: Building
a Strong Military Posture," Armed Forces Journal Inter -
national , June 1973, pp. 26-35.
57. Strategic Survey 1972 (London: International Institute of
Strategic Studies, 1972), p. 35.
58. Chester A. Crocker, South Africa's Defense Posture:
Coping With Vulnerability , p. 43.
59. "South African Defense Philosophy and Policies: Building
a Strong Military Posture," p. 27.
60 . South African Defense Policies as Reflected in the
White Papers, 1965-1979 , p. 4.
61. Ibid, p. 5.
62 . Ibid, p. 5 .
64. Boss, The First Five Years (London: International Defense
Aid Fund, 1975) , p. 7.
65. Robert I. Rotberg, "The Process of Decision Making in
Contemporary South Africa," CSIS Africa Notes , #22,
28 December 1983, p. 5.
66. "Boss, The First Five Years," p. 7.
69. Ibid, pp. 18-20.
70. "State Security Council: Not Sinister," Paratus ,
November 19 83, p. 9.
72. Ibid, pp. 9-10.
73. Robert I. Rotberg, "The Process of Decision Making in
Contemporary South Africa," p. 5.
74. Christopher Coker, "South Africa: A New Military Role
in Southern Africa," International Institute of Strategic
Studies Survival , March-April 1983, pp. 59-67.
76. James Barber, South Africa's Foreign Policy 1945-1970 ,
p. 266 .
77. For a summary of events in South West Africa prior to
19 73, see John Reed, "Frontline Southwest Africa,"
parts 1 and 2, in Armed Forces , January 19 84, pp. 18-20;
and March 1984, pp. 59-61.
78. Robert S. Jaster, "South Africa's Narrowing Security
Options , " p . 21 .
79. Robin Hallett, "The South African Intervention in
Angola 1975-76," African Affairs , July 1978, pp. 347-386.
80. Christopher -Coker, "South Africa: A New Military Role
in Southern Africa," p. 60.
81. R. W. Johnson, How Long Will South Africa Survive ,
82. See Robin Hallett, "The South African Intervention in
Angola 19 75-76," for a discussion of the timing of the
Cuban build-up in comparison to the SADF's involvement
83. Colin Legum, Southern Africa, Year of the Whirlwind
(New York: Africana Publishing Co., 1977), pp. 28-30.
84. Robert S. Jaster, "South Africa's Narrowing Security
Options , " p. 34 .
85. Deon Geldenjuys, "South Africa's Regional Policy," p. 157,
86. Harold D. Nelson, ed. , South Africa: A Country Study ,
87. Timothy M. Shaw, "Oil, Israel, and the OAU: An Intro-
duction to the Political Economy of Energy in Southern
Africa," Africa Today, January-March 1976, pp. 24-25.
88. Ibid, p. 25.
89. R. W. Johnson, How Long Will South Africa Survive , p. 101
90.- Harold D. Nelson, ed., South Africa: A Country Study ,
91. Michael Clough , "From Southwest Africa to Namibia," in
Michael Clough, ed., Changing Realities in Southern
Africa; Implications for American Policy (Berkeley:
Institute of International Studies, 1982), pp. 66-67.
92. Ibid, p. 67.
93. David Anable, "What Arms Ban Means to South Africa,"
Christian Science Monitor , 4 November 19 77, p. 1.
94. Adapted from Robert S. Jaster, "South Africa's Narrowing
Security Options," pp. 25-26.
95. Robert S. Jaster, "South Africa's Narrowing Security
Options , " p. 22 .
96. Deon Geldenhuys, "South Africa's Regional Policy,"
97. Robert S. Jaster, "South Africa's Narrowing Security
Options , " p . 22 .
98. Deon Geldenhuys, "South Africa's Regional Policy,"
99. Ibid, pp. 148-149.
100. Robert I. Rotberg, "The Process of Decision Making in
Contemporary South Africa," p. 6.
101. Philip Frankel, "Race and Counterrevolution: South
Africa's 'Total Strategy'," Journal of Commonwealth
Comparative Politics , November 1980, p. 274.
102. Unless otherwise noted, material in this section adapted
from Deon Geldenhuys, Some Foreign Policy Implications
of South Africa's 'Total National Strategy' (Braamf ontein:
South African Institute for International Affairs, 19 81) .
10 3. Deon Geldenhuys, South Africa's Search for Security
Since the Second World War (Braamf ontein: South African
Institute for International Affairs, 1978), pp. 2-9.
104. Deon Geldenhuys, Some Foreign Policy Implications of
South Africa's 'Total National Strategy ' , p. 3.
105. Robert S. Jaster, "South Africa's Narrowing Security
Options , " p . 12 .
10 6. "Malan Urges Cohesion of Population Groups," Capetown
Die Burger , 13 June 1979, p. 15, quoted in JPRS 73885
18 July 19 79, Subsaharan Africa Report #2132.
10 7. Deon Geldenhuys, Some Foreign Policy Implications of
South Africa's 'Total National Strategy' , p. 6.
108. Ibid, p. 9.
109. Johannesburg International Service, 3 May 19 79, quoted
in FBIS Middle East and Africa, 4 May 19 79, p. E4 .
110. Capetown Die Burger, 13 June 19 79, p. 15, as quoted in
JPRS 73885, 18 July 19 79, Subsaharan Africa Report
#2132, p. 119.
112. Johannesburg International Service, 28 July 19 79, as
quoted in FBIS, Mideast and Africa, 30 July 19 79, p. E2
113. Information Service of South Africa, 16 August 19 79,
as quoted in FBIS, 20 August 19 79, Mideast and Africa
20 August 19 79, p. E3.
114. Deon Geldenhuys, Some Foreign Policy Implications of
South Africa's 'Total National Strategy' , p. 12.
115. Deon Geldenhuys, "South Africa's Regional Policy,"
116. Deon Geldenjys, Some Foreign Policy Implications of
South Africa's 'Total National Strategy' , p. 37.
117. Kenneth W. Grundy, "South Africa's Domestic Strategy,"
Current History , March 1983, p. 111.
118. Deon Geldenhuys and Hennie Kotze, "Aspects of Political
Decision Making in South Africa," South African Journal
of Political Science , 10, 1 (June 1983), pp. 35-36.
119. Robin Hallett, "The South African Intervention in
Angola 1975-1976," African Affairs , July 1978, pp. 381-
120. "State Security Council: Not Sinister!," Paratus ,
November 19 83, p. 11.
121. Unless otherwise noted, material in this section adapted
from Kenneth W. Grundy, The Rise of the South African
Security Establishment: An Essay on the Changing Locus
of State Power , pp. 11-17, and "South Africa's Domestic
Strategy," pp. 111-112.
122. Compiled from a variety of sources.
123. Compiled from a variety of sources. As the South African
Army is the largest service of the SADF , it is used
here for illustration.
124. ARMSCOR: South AFrica ' s Armaments Industry, p. 83.
125. ARMSCOR and the South African Defense Industry , DIA
Report DDB-1920-118-80 of December 1980, p. 4.
126. "Arms Supply Corporation's Growth in Various Fields,"
Capetown Die Burger , 12 September 19 81, p. 11, quoted in
JPRS 19198 Subsaharan Africa #2501, 13 October 1981,
127. Harold D. Nelson, South Africa: A Country Study ,
128. Africa Research Bulletin , Economic series, March 15--
April 14 1983, p. 6809.
129. The Military Balance 19 83-84 (London: International
Institute of Strategic Studies, 1983) , p. 74.
130. Unless otherwise noted, adapted from Robert I. Rotberg,
"The Process of Decision Making in Contemporary South
Africa," Deon Geldenhuys and Hennie Kotze, "Aspects of
Political Decision Making in South Africa," and Kenneth
W. Grundy, The Rise of the South African Security
Establishment: An Essay on the Changing Locus of State
131. Deon Geldenhuys and Hennie Kotze, "Aspects of Political
Decision Making in Contemporary South Africa," pp. 37-38.
132. Kenneth W. Grundy, "South Africa's Domestic Strategy,"
133. Pierre Hugo, Quislings or Realists: A Documentary Study
of 'Coloured' Politics in South Africa (Johannesburg:
Raven Press, 1978), pp. 1-11.
134. Kenneth W. Grundy, "South Africa's Domestic Strategy,"
135. Philip Frankel, "Race and Counterrevolution: South
Africa's 'Total Strategy 1 ," p. 277.
136. Deon Geldenhuys, Some Foreign Policy Implications of
South Africa's 'Total National Strategy' , p. 17.
137. Kenneth W. Grundy, "South Africa's Domestic Strategy,"
138. Philip Frankel, "Race and Counterrevolution: South
Africa's 'Total Strategy'," p. 12 8-.
139. Deon Geldenhuys, Some Foreign Policy Implications of
South Africa's 'Total National Strategy' , pp. 21-22.
140. "ARMSCOR: South Africa's Armaments Industry," p. 49.
141. Deon Geldenjuys, Some Foreign Policy Implications of
South Africa's 'Total National Strategy' , pp. 13-15.
142. Philip Frankel, "Race and Counterrevolution: South
Africa's 'Total Strategy', p. 279.
143. Ibid, p. 280.
144. Philip Frankel, "Race and Counterrevolution: South
Africa's 'Total Strategy'," pp. 2 83-284.
145. Robert I. Rotberg, "The Process of Decision Making
in Contemporary South Africa," p. 29.
146. Philip Frankel, "Race and Counterrevolution: South
Africa's 'Total Strategy 1 ," p. 38.
14 7. Kenneth W. Grundy, The Rise of the South African
Security Establishment: An Essay on the Changing Locus
of State Power , pp. 10-11.
14 8. Robert I. Rotberg: "Race and Counterrevolution: South
Africa's 'Total Strategy'," p. 16.
149. Ibid, p. 38.
150. Kenneth W. Grundy, The Rise of the South African Security
Establishment: An Essay on the Changing Locus of State
Power , p. 21 .
151. See, for example, "Modderfontein Commando Opens New
Headquarters," Johannesburg Armed Forces , October 19 83,
p. 22, quoted in JPRS 849 78 20 December 19 83, Subsaharan
Africa #2885, p. 68.
152. See, for example, "Coloureds Divided by Military Call-
up Issue," Johannesbura The Citizen , 16 November 19 83,
153. Robert S. Jaster, "South Africa's Narrowing Security
Options, " p. 28.
154. "Army Wants University Military Units," Johannesburg
Domestic Service, 2 8 October 19 82, quoted in FBIS
Mbabane WZ 281537Z October 19 82.
155. Philip Frankel , "Race and Counterrevolution: South
Africa's 'Total Strategy 1 ," pp. 284-287.
156. Deon Geldenhuys, Some Foreign Policy Implications of
South Africa's 'Total National Strategy,' p. 61.
157. Deon Geldenhuys, "South Africa's Regional Policy,"
15 8. James Barber, South Africa's Foreign Policy 1945-1970 ,
159. Bert Van Hees, "Academic Says Border Pact Will Not Solve
Security Problems," Johannesburg The Citizen , 8 March
1984, p. 15; as quoted in JPRS SSA-84-039, 29 March
1984, p. 29.
161. Unless otherwise noted, adopted from Geon Geldenhuys,
Some Foreign Policy Implications of South Africa's
'Total National Strategy', pp. 25-37.
162. Ibid, p. 25.
163. "South Africa to Drop Protection of Cape Sea Route,"
Pretoria Department of Information Broadcast, 7 April
1978, quoted in FBIS 7 April 1978, Subsaharan Africa,
p. E4 .
164. Quoted in Deon Geldenhuys, Some Foreign Policy Implica -
tions of South Africa's 'Total National Strategy' ,
166. "Government Linked with Taiwan, Israel in Pact,"
Paris AFP , 11 April 19 82, quoted in FBIS, 13 April
19 82, Southern Africa, p. U3 .
167. "A Monroe Doctrine for Southern Africa," Johannesburg
Domestic Service, 7 December 19 82, quoted in FBIS
Southern Africa 9 December 19 82, p. U10 .
16 8 . South African Defense Policies as Reflected in the
White Papers, 1965-79 , p. 6.
169. Ibid, pp. 8-9.
171. The Military Balance 1983-84 , pp. 67-81.
172. John Keegan, ed., World Armies (New York: Facts on File,
1979), Angola, pp. 12-15, Botswana, p. 76, Mozambique,
pp. 475-477, South Africa, pp. 633-643, Zambia, p. 825.
173. "Defense Chief on Arms Buildup, Terrorist Attack,"
Johannesburg International Service, 17 February 19 81,
quoted in FBIS subsaharan Africa 18 February 19 81,
174. "Malan Sees Military Threat to South Africa," Johannes-
burg International Service, 2 October 19 82, quoted in
FBIS Subsaharan Africa, 4 October 19 82, p. U2 .
175. "Attack Envisioned From Neighboring States," Johannes-
burg International Service, 23 March 19 82, quoted in
FBIS Middle East and Africa, 24 March 19 82, p. Ul .
176. C. L. Vilojen, "Conventional Threat to Republic of South
Africa/Southwest Africa," ISSUP Strategic Review (June
1983), p. 2, quoted in JPRS 83909 18 July 1983 Subsaharan
Africa #2822, pp. 47-48.
177. Ibid, p. 48.
178. See, for example, Kenneth Adelman, "The Strategy of
Defiance: South Africa," Comparative Strategy 1,
1 and 2, pp. 33-52.
179. "Chief of Army Says Strong Willpower Factor Against
Insurgency," Johannesburg Die Transvaler , 6 August: 19 81,
p. 14, quoted in JPRS 79027 21 September 1981, Subsaharan
Africa Report #2480.
180. "South African Prime Minister Says USSR Using 'Terrorism 1
by Proxy," Johannesburg International Service, 2 7
March 1981, quoted in FBIS London UK, 272220Z Mar 81.
181. "Johnannesburg Explains Raids on SWAPO in Angola,"
Johannesburg International Service, 7 December 19 81,
quoted in FBIS 8 December 19 81, p. Ul.
182. Harold D. Nelson, South Africa: A Country Study, p. 377.
183. Ibid, pp. 212-214.
184. Bill Cain, "Manpower Crisis Worse Than Expected,"
Johannesburg Sunday Times-Business Times , 18 May 19 80,
p. 1, quoted in JPRS 75920 23 June 1980, Subsaharan
Africa #2258, pp. 157-158.
185. Harold D. Nelson, South Africa: A Country Study , pp. 351-
186 . South African Defense Policies as Reflected in the
White Papers, 1965-79 , p. 9.
187. "Armed Forces Suffer From Too Few Technicians," Capetown
Die Burger , 14 November 19 81, p. 3, quoted in JPRS
79677 17 December 1981, Subsaharan Africa #2540, pp. 41-42
188. Gherhard Pieterse, "Longer Border Duty," Johannesburg
Sunday Times , 24 September 1978, quoted in JPRS 72062,
17 October 1978, Subsaharan Africa #2009, pp. 47-48.
190. Pauline H. Baker, "South Africa's Strategic Vulnerabili-
ties: The 'Citadel Assumption' Reconsidered," African
Studies Review 10 (September 1977), pp. 89-99.
191. Harm J. de Blij , A Geography of Subsaharan Africa .
(Chicago: Rand McNally, 1964), p. 82.
192. Herve Guilbaud, "Moves to Counter White Exodus Reported,"
Johannesburg Africa AFP , pp. 22-23, quoted in JPRS
81102, 22 June 1982, Subsaharan Africa #2644, pp. 45-47.
195. "New Law Proposed to Halt 'White Exodus'," Johannesburg
Rand Daily Mail , 17 September 1982, p. 1, as quoted in
FBIS Mbabane, 171143Z Sep 82.
19 6. Richard Leonard, "Mobilizing for Total War," Southern
Africa , January-February 19 81, p. 14.
19 7. Kenneth W. Grundy, "South Africa's Regional Defense
Plans: The Homeland Army," in Thomas M. Callaghy, ed. ,
S outh Africa in Southern Africa (New York: Praeger,
1983) , p. 147.
198. Pauline H. Baker, "South Africa's Strategic Vulnerabili-
ties: The 'Citadel Assumption' Reconsidered," p. 97.
199. "Defending the South Atlantic--A Quandry for the West?"
Armed Forces , July 1982, p. 234.
200. See the discussions of this option in Chapter II discus-
sions of the Twelve-Point Plan.
201. "Viljoen Urges New Naval Strategy in Southern Atlantic,
Indian Ocean," Paris AFP , 7 May 19 82, quoted in JPRS
80909, 26 May 1982, Subsaharan Africa #2629, p. 102.
202. John F. Burns, "South Africa Defies U.S. On Arms, Says
It Can Surmount An Embargo," New York Times , 2 7 October
1977, p. 1.
203. Pauline H. Baker, "South Africa's Strategic Vulnerabili-
ties: The 'Citadel Assumption' Reconsidered," p. 95.
204. "Further on Signing of Cahora Bassa Agreement," Johannes-
burg Domestic Service, 2 May 19 84, quoted in FBIS Middle
East and Africa, 3 May 1984, p. U6 .
205. Timothy M. Shaw, "Oil, Israel, and the OAU: An Intro-
duction to the Political Economy of Energy in Southern
206. Africa South of the Sahara (London: Europa Publications,
1983) , p. 763.
20 7. J. P. Blumenfeld, "The South African Economy: Potential
and Pitfalls," World Today , September 1980, pp. 334-342.
208. Pauline H. Baker, "South Africa's Strategic Vulnerabili-
ties: The 'Citadel Assumption' Reconsidered," p. 95.
209. Colin Legum, ed. , African Contemporary Record 19 81-82
(New York: Africana Publishing Company, 19 81) .
210. "300 Years of Resistance," Southern Africa , January-
February 19 81, p. 25.
211. Pauline H. Baker, "South Africa's Strategic Vulnerabili-
ties: The 'Citadel Assumption 1 Reconsidered," pp. 95-96.
212. Michael Savage, "Costs of Enforcing Apartheid and
Problems of Change," African Affairs , July 1977, p. 299.
213. African Research Bulletin, August 15 — September 14 1981,
214. "Defense Spending Comparatively Small," Capetown Die
Burger , 14 August 1981, p. 27, quoted in JPRS 79027 21
September 1981 Subsaharan Africa #2488, pp. 89-90.
216. Colin Legum, ed. , African Contemporary Record 19 81-82 ,
217. Simon Willson, "Prime Minister Claims Sufficient Oil
for Embargo," Johannesburg Rand Daily Mail Business Day
Section , 31 October 1983, p. 1, quoted in FBIS Middle
East and Africa I November 1983, pp. U5-U6.
218. K. J. Holsti, International Politics: A Framework for
Analysis (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall, 1983),
219. John Seiler, "South African Perspectives and Responses
to External Pressures," The Journal of Modern African
Studies , 13, 3 (1975), pp. 447-468.
220. Republic of South Africa, White Paper on Defense and
Armament Supply (Pretoria: Republic of South Africa,
1982) , p. 2.
221. Robin Hallett, "The South African Intervention in
Angola 1975-76," pp. 383-386.
222. IISS Military Balance 1983-84, p. 74.
223. John Keegan, ed. , World Armies , pp. 637-638.
224. Ibid, p. 639.
225. Ibid, p. 638.
226. Kenneth W. Grundy, "South Africa's Regional Defense
Plans: The Homeland Army," pp. 137-143.
227. Compiled from a variety of sources, including IISS
The Military Balance 1983-84 , Harold D. Nelson, South
Africa: A Country Study , and DMS Market Intelligence
Report (Greenwich: DMS, 1979), South Africa, p. 4.
228. IISS The Military Balance 1983-84 , p. 74.
229. Harold D. Nelson, South Africa: A Country Study ,
230. IISS Military Balance 1983-84 , p. 73.
231. Chester A. Crocker, South Africa's Defense Posture:
Coping With Vulnerability , p. 51.
2 32 . South African Defense Policies as Reflected in the
White Papers, 1965-79 , p. 12.
233. Harold D. Nelson, South Africa: A Country Study ,
234. Signe Landgren-Backstrom, "Seven Methods of Evading an
Arms Embargo/' in Southern Africa Research Group,
Weapon Against Apartheid (Uppsala, Sweden: Uppsala
University, 1979), pp. 15-31.
235. Ronald T. Petty, "South African KURKI Air-to-Air Missile,"
Jane's Defense Review , Vol. 4, #6, 1983, pp. 513-522.
236. Harold D. Nelson, South Africa: A Country Study ,
p. 337 .
237. Chester A. Crocker, South Africa's Defense Posture:
Coping With Vulnerability , p. 51.
238. Ian V. Hogg, "Infantry Weapons of the SADF , " Jane ' s
Defense Weekly , 25 February 1984, p. 291.
239. "Military Uses Captured Weapons," Johannesburg Domestic
Service, 8 September 1982, quoted by FBIS Mbabane Wz
81410Z September 19 82.
240. "Recent Weapons Acquisitions Listed by Nation," Afrique
Defense , #66, September 1983, pp. 64-65, quoted in JPRS
84750 15 November 1983, Africa #2870, pp. 3-8.
2 41. Robert Boyle, "South Africa Starts Arms Export Drive,"
International Defense Review , Vol. 16, #3, 1983, pp.
242. Harold D. Nelson, South Africa: A Country Study ,
243. See, for example, "The Threat of Sanctions," Johannes-
burg International Service, 5 December 19 83, quoted in
JPRS 85009 Subsaharan Africa #2887, pp. 77-78.
244. Kenneth Adelman, "The Strategy of Defiance: South
Africa," pp. 34-35.
245. Ibid, p. 38.
2 46. Deon Geldenhuys, A Survey of White Opinion on Foreign
Policy Issues (Braamf ontein : South African Institute of
International Affairs, 1982) .
247. "South Africa's Military Strength," Johannesburg Inter-
national Service, 1 October 19 82, quoted in FBIS 1
October 19 82 Middle East and Africa, p. U3 .
248. Sheryl Raine, "General Backs Offensive Tactics Against
SWAPO," Johannesburg Star , 29 June 19 83, p. 3, quoted in
FBIS Middle East and Africa 1 July 1983, p. U3 .
249. Joseph Lelyveld, "South Africa's Strategy: To Isolate
the Rebels," New York Times , 6 June 19 83, p. 5.
250. "Johannesburg Explains Raids on SWAPO in Angola,"
Johannesburg International Service, 7 December 19 81,
quoted in FBIS Middle East and Africa 8 December 19 81,
251. "Defense Minister Defends Angolan Incursion," Johannes-
burg International Service 21 November 19 81, quoted in
FBIS Middle East and Africa, 23 November 1981, p. U2 .
252. Christopher Coker, "South Africa: A New Military Role
in Southern Africa 1969-82," pp. 61-62.
253. Ibid, p. 61.
254. "The Twenty-Percent Gets All the Effort," The Economist ,
3 April 19 82, p. 72.
255. Robert S. Jaster, "South Africa's Narrowing Security
Options," p. 30.
256. Johannesburg The .Citizen , 7 March 19 84, p. 4, quoted in
JPRS SSA-84-039, pp. 52-53.
257. Kenneth W. Grundy, "South Africa's Regional Defense
Plans: The Homeland Army."
258. "Labor Will Not Accept Conscription for Coloureds,"
Umtate Capital Radio, 9 February 19 83, quoted in FBIS
Middle East and Africa 10 February 19 82, p. U4.
259. "Bill Would Obligate Immigrants for Military Service,"
Johannesburg International Service, 7 March 19 84,
quoted in FBIS Middle East and Africa 7 March 19 84,
260. "Call-Up," Johannesburg The Citizen , 24 December 1983,
p. 6, quoted in JPRS SSA-84-009, 20 January 1984,
261. Unless otherwise noted, material in this section adapted
from Robert S. Jaster, "South Africa's Narrowing
Security Options," pp. 36-47; 42-43.
262. "Botha, RSA Would Consider Aid to Anti-Communists,"
Johannesburg Domestic Service, 18 Feburary 19 83, quoted
in FBIS Middle East and Africa, 23 February 1983,
264. "South Africa Said to be 'Real Target' of Destabilization
Efforts," Johannesburg The Citizen , 29 August 19 83,
p. 10, quoted in JPRS 84344 Subsaharan Africa #2846,
265. Colin Legum, "South AFrica's Power Game," New African
March 19 83, pp. 11-14.
266. Unless otherwise noted, adopted from Christopher Coker,
"South Africa: A New Military Role in Southern Africa,
1969-82," and Colin Legum, "South Africa's Power Game."
267. "Destabilization in Southern Africa," The Economist ,
16 July 1983, pp. 20-21.
268. Christopher Coker, "South Africa: A New Military Role
in Southern Africa, 1969-82," p. 63.
269. "Destabilization in Southern AFrica," pp. 24-26.
270. Adopted from Robert S. Jaster, "Politics and the
Afrikaner Bomb," Qrbis , Winter 1984, pp. 825-851.
271. "Front Line on the Defensive," The Economist , 16 July
1983, pp. 26-27.
272. Simon Willson, "Prime Minister Claims Sufficient Oil
for Embargo . "
273. Johannesburg The Citizen , 6 October 19 82, p. 1, quoted
in JPRS 82107 Subsaharan Africa #2711, 28 October 1982,
274. Harold D. Nelson, South Africa: A Country Study ,
275. "Koeburg Nuclear Power Plant Started up 1 March,"
Johannesburg SAPA, 14 March 19 84, quoted in FBIS Middle
East and Africa, 15 March 19 84, p. U4 .
276. "Solar Energy System," Johannesburg The Citizen , 29
April 1981, p. 7, quoted in JPRS 78046, 11 May 1981,
277. Compiled from a variety of sources, including DMS Marke t
Report , IISS Military Balance 1983-84 , Bill Gunston, ed. ,
The Encyclopedia of World Air Power (New York: Crescent
Books, 19 80), p. 37; and Jean Labayle Couhat , ed.,
C ombat Fleets of the World 19 80/81 (Annapolis: Naval
Institute Press, 19 80, p. 444. Other sources are
278. "Arms Industry Ready to Produce Helicopters," JPRS
84317 14 September 19 83, Subsaharan Africa #2843, p. 31.
279. "G5 Cannon Developed, Manufactured Entirely in South
Africa," JPRS 81202 2 July 1982, Subsaharan AFrica
#2651, p. 57.
2 80. Willem Steenkamp, "Weapons Procurement Role of ARMSCOR
Discussed," JPRS 83953, 21 July 1983, Subsaharan
Africa #2823, p. 96.
281. Ronald T. Pretty, "South Africa Valkiri Multiple
Artillery Rocket System," Jane's Defense Review , Vol. 4,
#7, 1983, pp. 645-650.
282. Steenkamp, "Weapons Procurement Role of ARMSCOR
2 83. Ronald T. Pretty, "South African Kukri Air- to-Air
Missile," Jane's Defense Review , Vol. 4, #6, 1983,
2 84. As note 277, compiled from a variety of sources.
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